£33,000 Crowdfunder completes £300,000 funding package for Glasgow’s “Websters” Church

Up and coming Glaswegian journalist, Jack Aitchison from STV Glasgow wrote this brilliant article and the kind folk over at STV have allowed us to share it here for our Crowdfunder community.

Why do we love this article so much? It’s a great example of how project owners can use crowdfunding as a part of a bigger funding mix. In this case – “Websters” had a target of £25k – and overfunded to £33k (wow!) which meant they reached their total funding package of a staggering £300k. Take the mic Jack…

 

West end church hits funding target for theatre and bar transformation
By Jack Aitchison – originally posted on STV Glasgow

A former west end church will undergo a £300k overhaul to create a new theatre, bar and restaurant after successfully hitting its crowdfunding target.

 

Websters Theatre, formerly Lansdowne Church, aimed to raise £25,000 through fundraising website Crowdfunder in order to open the theatre on permanent basis, with a bar and bistro, by April.

 

Websters Theatre 2Following a tense few weeks in the run-up to the final funding day, campaigners were celebrating after smashing the original target by £8000, raising a total of £33,300.

 

The theatre had already received around £225,000 in loans via the Architectural Heritage Fund as well as receiving £50,000 in grants.


The building, situated on Great Western Road, features a range of stained glass window artwork from Alfred and Gordon Webster (giving it the name Websters) as well as a towering and prominent steeple.

 

On the Crowdfunder website, plans were revealed to restore the interior of the building and its stained glass artworks, as well as creating a public square at its front entrance with steps connecting it to the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove museum.

However, the man behind the project said the main focus is getting the 180-seat venue with a bar and bistro up and running.

 

In addition to the plans to make the theatre self sustaining, the extra funding will go towards restoring Alf Webster’s iconic south window. Being in an unstable condition, the window art was taken into storage in 2008, but with the additional funds it could soon take pride of place again.

David Robertson, project director from Four Acres Charitable Trust (FACT) who are behind the project, said: “We are delighted that the project has been so successful, it is such a relief for everyone involved.

 

“We extremely appreciate every single donation that was made, as well as the support from local organisations such as Friends of Glasgow West, who bolstered our efforts.”

 

Websters TheatreMr Robertson discussed the slight blip during the campaign, forcing the deadline to be extended. “Not everyone found it easy to pledge money on the internet, causing us to think we wouldn’t get it funded in time,” he said. “With that in mind, we decided to extend the time by two weeks to give time for donations to be made and adjust our ways to fund. “We consulted with people through and we are glad we did – considering how successful it ended up being.”

 

He added: “Our next step is to really press on with the building works, and make sure we are ready for spring to allow us to have a good summer of work.

“Once we are securely open we plan to turn our attention to the stained glass window – we strongly believe that was a main feature of why people pledged money.

 

“It is a big project, with a huge window, so we believe lottery funding may be needed, but the extra money funded from this campaign will go towards it.”

 

“We have received a lot of public support, with people from the community council and other groups attending our pubic meeting,” he said. “It is very encouraging that a project like this has been so successful, and proves a lot about what public support can do.”

 

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