#SaveWatermans Emergency Appeal

by Antony Pickthall in Brentford, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 24th December 2020 we successfully raised £83,953 ( + est. £14086.75 Gift Aid ) with 2114 supporters in 28 days

We were part of a national initiative launched by Theatres Trust to prevent the permanent closure of UK theatres.

by Antony Pickthall in Brentford, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We're blown away by the incredible support of our community which means we've raised £60,000 in just two weeks and has given us the encouragement we need to go for our stretch target of £120,000.  While £60,000 will save us from the cliff edge in the new year, raising £120,000 will be a game changer, enabling us to continue operating fully throughout next year and beyond.

With social distancing projected to continue for indoor venues like Watermans until June 2021, the pandemic continues to threaten our existence. Our finances will be unsustainable by summer 2021 and obviously, we cannot wait until that point to act. In January, our trustees will be forced to make some very difficult decisions about Watermans’ future if we have been unable to significantly close the funding gap for next year. The more we can close that gap before the end of January, the more flexibility we will have in the decisions we can make and the better for Watermans and everyone in our community. That’s why we’re crowdfunding now. And that's why it's so important we go for our stretch target.

We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received. Let's keep going! The more we can achieve now, the more certainty we will have as we look to 2021 and beyond. 

Watermans is part of a national initiative launched by Theatres Trust to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of UK theatres.

Watermans' future has never looked so uncertain. If we don't act now, we face exceptionally difficult decisions in 2021 and cannot guarantee we will be here in our current form this time next year.

We need to act now. Over the next 4 weeks we need to raise £60,000 to protect Watermans' future. It will help us survive the pandemic intact, and reopen with a full programme of children's theatre, cabaret, dance, music, workshops and cinema, supported by our loyal and experienced staff. It will mean we can continue our outreach across the borough of Hounslow, and continue to deliver a year-round programme for disabled children and their families. And so much more.

Fundamentally, it will help to secure our future in Brentford, serving communities around West London. Whether you’ve got £1 or £10,000, every penny counts towards helping us to survive this body blow of a pandemic and shows us we have your support.


More About Why We're Crowdfunding

Coronavirus has decimated the arts sector.

Theatres and arts centres like Watermans have been shut for the majority of this year, and normality is still a long way off . It's been a body blow to the sector, and Watermans is no exception.

To survive the pandemic so far, we have: 

- innovated, developing a new digital programme including Zoom workshops for disabled children, an online cinema club, and online gallery and live streamed gigs

- been one of the first of very few venues to open after the first lockdown because being here for our community is at the heart of our ethos. We presented not only theatre, but cinema, workshops for young people and exhibitions. 

- accessed very bit of government support and funding aid available to us

- furloughed many of our loyal and experienced staff

But all this this is still simply not enough to guarantee our survival.

There are so few places left like this and they’re at risk. We are at risk. That’s why we are asking you to support us now, as your local theatre and arts centre. 


Over the next 4 weeks we need to raise £60,000 to help secure our future in Brentford, serving communities around West London. It's a lot. But together, we believe we can do it.

Please help by giving today whatever you can. If every booker from last year donated just £10, we’d smash our stretch target of £120k and we could look to the future with full confidence.

Thank you.


About Watermans

At the heart of Watermans is our 239-seat theatre. It’s a place where people come together to be inspired, be part of a community that’s bigger than themselves, and learn about each other. We think these things are more important than ever now. 

We’ve introduced generations of local children from all backgrounds to the joy of coming to the theatre with our children's theatre programme, and provided a home for dance, cabaret, live music and performance in West London. We’ve given thousands of young people their first taste of performing to a live audience, helped develop the careers of many young artists and inspired young people to pursue a career in the creative industries. We also programme and produce an outdoor arts programme in Hounslow town centre, presenting top-quality perfromances for free from around the world that bring the community together and have supported the regeneration of Hounslow Town Centre.  We employ technicians, lighting designers, and front of house staff - loyal and experienced staff who make Watermans the special place it is.


We’re determined that Watermans will survive and thrive, but it won’t be easy. We were one of very few arts venues open after the last lockdown, and we’ve been heartened by how warmly people responded and how quickly shows have sold out. People want, need and value having a theatre and cinema in their local area, but with social distancing meaning we can sell no more than 25% of our usual capacity, the future looks bleak. 

We’ve been lucky to receive a lifeline grant from Arts Council England to support us during this time, but with a difficult winter ahead, the challenges we face grow daily. And we are now closed again. Come the new year, without extra income, we will face impossible decisions. We want to keep our theatre open: theatre to inspire children, fantastic and life-affirming cabaret, dance and music for adults, space for artists to rehearse so they can prepare shows for happier times, jobs for crucial back-of-house staff who keep the show on the road.  All this is our own contribution to the vital ecosystem that is the arts.

About Save Our Theatres

In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. Places to come together, to be inspired and be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills. 

But we risk losing this forever.

Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Watermans is no exception. 

Six months later, we still don’t know when they will be able to reopen fully. This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres in a perilous situation. The government’s bailout is spread across all cultural organisations and certainly won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.

Every day theatres are facing the tough decision to make staff redundant and to close their doors until next year. And there is a real risk that those closures could be permanent. 

Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.


Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to help us to make sure our theatre survive this crisis. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£40 or more

Individual Friends Membership + exclusive tote bag

Become a Friend of Watermans for a year. You'll receive two free tickets and £1 off your ticket each time you book. You'll also get priority booking for some popular events and our exclusive Watermans tote bag.

£50 or more

Joint Friends Membership + exclusive tote bag

Become a Friend of Watermans with a friend or partner for a year. Get two free tickets and £1 off the ticket price of you and a friend, each time you book. You'll also get priority booking on some popular events. Plus our lovely exclusive Watermans tote bag.

£150 or more

#SaveWatermans Star Supporter

We will recognise your generous support by featuring your name on our website during our critical 2021 year. You will also receive our exclusive tote bag and be invited to a party at the end of the year with Watermans' leadership team.

£500 or more

#SaveWatermans Super Star Supporter

We will recognise your generous support both on our website and in our venue during our critical 2021 year. You will receive our exclusive tote bag and be invited to a party at the end of the year with Watermans' leadership team.

£1,000 or more

#SaveWatermans Patron

Your exceptional generosity to Watermans and the communities it serves will be featured in our venue and on our website during our critical 2021 year. You will have the opportunity to add a few words to tell people why you gave so generously. You will also receive our exclusive tote bag and be invited to a party at the end of the year with Watermans' leadership team.

£60 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Star Lantern Online Workshop for 6 (8yrs+)

A unique Christmas gift! Join creative whizzes Art Jar on Zoom to create your very own star lanterns to brighten your winter! Materials for up to 6 participants (6 lanterns) will be sent to up to two separate addresses, so you can bring family or friends together for creative fun while we can't get together in person. Workshop 1 hour; date to be agreed direct with artists; must be used by 30 April 2021; recommended for aged 8 and over.

£60 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Bangers & Smash Zoom Music Workshop for 4 (5yrs+)

A unique Christmas gift! Bring your little one and up to 3 of their friends together for a fun and interactive 30-min online Early Years music session with Bangers & Smash. It will include singing, playing simple percussion and dancing. You’ll just need a selection of instruments (bells, wooden spoons, pots and pans for example) and a brightly coloured scarf! The session is for up to 4 families/4 screens. It can be booked from 15 Jan-30 April 202

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Occasion Cake from Charlotte's Cake Compan

For when we can get together and celebrate again! This reward is for a beautiful one tier 8" cake which would serve about 20 people made by Charlotte's Cake Company. For use in 2021, and collection only from a Brentford postcode. https://www.charlottescakecompany.com/

£400 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Photography Session with Simon Tang

A 3-hour photography session with portrait photographer Simon Tang (individual, group, couple or family), including three digital print-ready shots of your choice. From photgraphing local families to backstage at the BAFTAs, Simon’s work captures personal moments beautifully and naturally. You can see his work, including commissions from Watermans, at simontang.uk.

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