Help fund a new roof for our fire damaged workshop

by Walk the Plank in Salford, England, United Kingdom

Help fund a new roof for our fire damaged workshop
We did it
On 22nd August 2019 we successfully raised £10,860 with 50 supporters in 35 days

We're putting a new environmentally-friendly roof onto one of our workshops badly damaged by fire caused by intruders.

by Walk the Plank in Salford, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Now that we've hit our £10k target in just 10 amazing days, and seeing as we're on a roll, we're going to try and raise another £2,500 to fund solar panels to make this 'green' roof even greener.

We added solar panels to our Bay 1 workshop with our stretch funding from our 2017 campaign, so we'd like to do the same with Bay 2. 

Saving energy costs and creating energy at the same time is a win win all round and will help us achieve further goals towards being an even more sustainable arts organisation.

A massive thank you to everyone who has helped us smash our target so quickly.

If you'd like to help us raise this final extra amount, it would be fantastic.  And there's still lots of fab 'thank you' rewards up for grabs.

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


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

7 of 100 claimed


As green's the theme we're running off a limited edition of our tree-hugging, planet-friendly hoodies featuring our logo in a lovely shade of green. Make yourself hoodie-hugging friendly with this essential addition to your all-season wardrobe.

£10 or more

4 of 200 claimed

Lifebuoy key ring

This unsinkable dinky key ring is certain to float anyone's boat and is a hugely practical reminder of the support you're giving to us with our campaign. Send us a tenner and we'll love you back with this very Walk the Plank piece of key management. FYI, most of us here are hopeless with keys.

£30 or more

5 of 100 claimed

A green t-shirt

You might already have one with a logo in orange or in silver. But this time our iconic Walk the Plank t-shirt is being offered with our logo in a lovely shade of green to reflect the environmentally-friendly benefits that our new roof will bring us. We're calling it our Green-T. Geddit?

£50 or more

4 of 30 claimed

Name on the wall

Our last intruders made their temporary mark by torching the place. Here we're cordially inviting you to be permanently remembered with your name on a plaque close to the entrance of our new workshop. Everyone who works in this new space under our insulated roof will have a nice reminder of who helped make it happen.

£300 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Raise the roof dinner at Cobden Works

Great food, fine wine and live entertainment will ensure you and your guest have a magical evening here at Cobden Works. We've got lots to celebrate and we'll ensure that you also get to check out our newly refurbished workshop.

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Our crowd has raised over £70 million for bright ideas and good causes.