Friday the 13th 2018
We’re not particularly superstitious but Friday July 13, 2018 was a bad day when one of our two workshops at our nearly-new Cobden Works was damaged with an extensive fire caused by intruders who were sadly never caught. The fire was so bad it was minutes away from destroying the rest of the site.
[Photo: the scene of devastation on the morning of July 14, 2018]
Just two months earlier, we’d come back victorious from the RIBA architectural awards in Liverpool with no less than three prestigious gongs for our new creative hub, including one for our architects Architectural Emporium.
[Photos: Our two workshops before the fire, and our award-winning night at the RIBA awards, May 2018]
But on the morning of Saturday July 14, we found ourselves confronted with a scene of mass devastation. The whole workshop was severely damaged and immediately declared a no-go zone.
Starting all over again - a new roof and nearly a new everything else too
Fast forward nearly a year and we’re now back on-site with our original contractors Skyline to rebuild this workshop, so we're taking the chance of misfortune to invest in something better than the original roof. In our original spec, as part of the usual value engineering process, we had to opt for the cheapest solution. This time we have the chance to commission something with an enhanced specification.
First and foremost, the new insulated roof will play a big part enabling us to be more energy-efficient and greener. This means lower heating bills, better heat retention and another step forward in our environmental sustainability strategy.
Photo: Manchester Day 2019, another example of green credentials where everything is pushed, pulled, cycled, recycled, up-cycled or made with sustainable materials.
Lots of other benefits too
Energy efficiency aside, the new roof will also:
* Provide a smarter, more resilient covering
* Create a more regular temperature which means we can use the space in all weathers
* Provide much greater security
* Last longer
Why we need your help, once again
Firstly, we know only too well how generous all of our crowdfunders were in helping us raise over £30,000 for Phase 1, including funding the purchase of solar energy panels which are now installed on our Bay 1 workshop. Trust us, we couldn't have done this without you.
Secondly, despite being covered by insurance, we're taking the chance of misfortune to invest in something better than the original roof. In our original spec, as part of the usual value engineering process, we had to opt for the cheapest solution. This time we have the chance to opt for commissioning something with an enhanced specification.
We now need to raise £10,000
In effect, our Bay 2 workshop needs nothing short of a complete rebuild. With the exception of the retained walls, we’re having to start all over again with a build project costing £135,000 - most of which, but not all, is covered by our insurance.
As an arts charity, we always put purpose over profit because we genuinely believe that everyone should experience the magic of art in all its forms in as many ways as possible.
There are, of course, many more exciting things that can be done with £10k but without a safe and watertight equipment store, the whole of our site is compromised. And because this new roof will be loads more energy-efficient it will play a key role in helping us save money.
So, if you are able to help us put a new 'green' roof on our workshop we’d be eternally grateful.
We've also pulled together a range of rewards as a 'thank you' for your generosity. There's something here for everyone and, as we said in our previous campaign, every donation makes a difference.
Thank you, once again, in advance for your support.
John, Liz and the Walk the Plank team