We did it
On 23rd June 2020 we successfully raised £6,587 ( + est. £257.50 Gift Aid ) with 143 supporters in 313 days

Join a driven and passionate community group to see the restoration of Westburn House Aberdeen back to its former glory.

by Westburn Development Trust SCIO in Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom

About 

The Westburn Development Trust is a driven community charity with the aim to see Westburn House restored & returned to its former glory. 

Our Situation

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UPDATE ; As we're sure you are all aware at the moment, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having massive effects around the world, and the heritage sector is no exception. Most Heritage organisations are facing particular challenges at the moment,with continued project delays and suspension of normal availability of funding grant programmes.

In the light of the crisis, we have considered how we can best support Westburn house and have therefore restructured our current programme in order to facilitate an effective and timely response.  Westburn House is currently in a very poor condition. Our new aim, being realistic to what can be achieved in 2020 is focusing on the urgent Stabilizing work & protection of the building. This urgent works will protect the building until normal programmes proceed late 2020 early 2021. 

We have reopened our Crowdfunder campaign hoping to raise the £25-30,000 required for this emergency works. We hope you will support this project and save this historic building for future generations. 

 The Westburn Development Trust's objective is to see this great historic Archibald Simpson designed building saved and sympathetically restored back to its former glory. The building is at a critical stage in its demise, and there is not much time left before the building is lost forever.

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Our project has now been split into three stages and three funding campaigns;

  • Phase One - Arrest the decay
  • Phase Two - Restore and renovate
  • Phase Three - Run as non-profit charity, including leasing parts of the building - education centre and restaurant  

We are looking for financial support to help us achieve our overall objective, but first we must secure the building and safeguard what remaining features there are, set aside for re-use during Phase 2 works "Restore and Renovate". 

This first phase we are calling the "Arrest the Decay" phase and is the focus of this Crowdfunding campaign. By working together as a community we can Save Aberdeen's heritage;  a project a community can be proud of. 

Our fundraising team are working hard applying for grants and trusts. But we also need to approach the general public, local businesses etc. to  donate toward saving this iconic Archibald Simpson building.

What We Aim To Achieve? 

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The charity is looking to move ahead with the community acquisition of Westburn House. Our proposal to turn Westburn House into a community hub, incorporating the following:-

  • The new Archibald Simpson Heritage Centre, an open tourist space for visitors to come in and understand the life of one of Aberdeen's iconic architects, arguably responsible for a majority of the design of the City Centre and a number of the historic buildings throughout the North-East of Scotland and beyond;
  • A cafe and meeting place, focusing on healthy eating, whilst appreciating the needs of the modern daytrippers to the Park, e.g. takeaway picnic hampers, working in collaborating with local social enterprise businesses in the community;
  • Functions such as toilets for users of the park, including facilities for mothers and babies - a basic but hugely needed facility for the Park;
  • Meeting rooms and exhibition space for use by the Community and to ensure constant revenue to maintain Westburn House's long-term sustainability; 
  • A ceremonial space for weddings and other family-oriented events;
  • Development space for new hub activities
  • Communications centre for community activities based in the park, e.g. festivals.

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We will refurbish Westburn house into a warm and welcoming space and setting up a business which will sustain its long-term future - a community hub that is truly open to create a new community buzz, whilst being commercially viable through various operating enterprises, available to local businesses through rental of floorspace.

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Working With The Community

The vision for Westburn House is being developed in collaboration with the community. We are confident there is a demand and desire for business locally and the support we have received so far has been overwhelming. Since March 2019, we asked 536 potential customers through our Community Survey: titled 'Your option matters'.

We asked the community what facilities they'd like to see in Westburn House:

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The answers revealed the top choices as ‘food and drink facility, toilets, disabled access, multi use space and facilities for Children'.

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Alongside, we have listened to other areas of research and realise the opportunity to install a food service that provides locally sourced, seasonal produce and will offer lots of delicious plant based options to meet our customer demands and reduce our carbon footprint.

We are listening to our community along the way and ensure that Westburn house will be an open, creative, ethical, low-carbon and socially minded venture that people really want to visit!

Alongside Westburn House , we will develop the surrounding parkland, creating a place to learn connecting and encouraging children back to nature, with outdoor seating, picnic areas, informal play areas and outdoor education classes and running summer schools.

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Additional parking, our concept for additional parking includes a Eco friendly car park using waste plastic, a green alternative to traditional surfacing.   

Bike parking, our commitment to encourage skills for new cyclists, a long established tradition already in place with in the park with the original bike paths.

We can also go that step further by providing electric car and bike charging points on site.

Our long term vision is to create a multi-purpose building which facilitates a diverse range of activities, projects and services that will improve the health, social, cultural, educational, environmental and employment-related outcomes for the community and be enjoyed by visitors from near and far.

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In addition, we are striving through the development and refinement of our business planning to increase our positive environmental impact for the long term. We will draw on permaculture principles and use the renewable resources available to us to encourage the increasingly environmentally aware local economy driven by the desire of residents in our area.

Our initial environmental report has highlighted a number of actions we can take at the outset to reduce the energy use of the business to a minimum including careful installation of floor and wall insulation, choosing water saving devices and low energy lighting. Installation of solar panels on the new roof is also a key priority.

We still have a long journey ahead, but we're driven to continue a phased, collaborative approach to the building restoration, environmental performance and heritage protection and with your help to get us in the building sooner, it will be totally achievable!

Why Are We Crowdfunding? 

The first phase of works will see the conservation and vital refurbishment of the external envelope of the building both internal and external repairs.

We’ve also agreed further investment from other funds for the next phase of restoration of the building which means it will be straight to work on Phase Two of the work - "Restore and Renovate".

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Why Pledge Your Support? 

This crowdfunding campaign is about how you can support us to get the building up and running as soon as possible.  Raising funds via crowdfunding will provide the capital needed to prepare for essential works and some of the key elements as the project develops.

We believe there is great support from our advocates, friends and future customers for a project of this ambition and believe you will come out in force and pledge to give us that financial boost we need get us into the building.

Everyone's contribution can make a huge difference to the rate of progress towards saving Westburn house.  Funds of different sizes accumulate towards the total: e.g. 1000 @ £10 = £10,000,  1000 @ £20 = £20,000, 500 @£100 = £50,000, [email protected] £500 = £50000, 10 @ 20000 = £200000 etc.

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By pledging your support or choosing one of our amazing rewards you can ensure we continue the progress we have made so far and be part of the story of Westburn House’s future success. 

Look At Our Rewards

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Our Rewards scheme,  we are so excited to be working in collaboration with local artists to create meaningful one-off momentos for your kind pledge towards Westburn House.

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We hope we've convinced you to support us and pledge whatever you can to help us to Save Westburn House.

We hope you'll get on board with us and help complete the next part of the journey of the beautiful, original Westburn house building into the future Community hub vision!

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Westburn House - A brief history

Westburn House is an important and much-loved part of the heritage of Westburn and of Aberdeen as a whole. It sits in a public park, visible to thousands but is visibly deteriorating. Westburn house is a rare survival that excites the curiosity with the community.

 The house was designed by a prominent architect, Archibald Simpson, who had been responsible for many major and influential buildings throughout the north east of Scotland.

 The design in a Greek revival style by an architect of national importance gives the house an important place in the architecture of Aberdeen, and places it in a national context.  

 The Westburn development trust have launched a “Conservation Led” renovation of the house. This first stage ‘Arrest the decay’ will address the significant damage.

 We’re approaching Aberdeen’s residential and business community to take control of the deterioration by offering donations to help fund stage one of this project.

 This crowdfunding campaign is about how you can support the trust and get the building up and running as soon as possible.  Raising funds via crowdfunding will provide the capital needed to prepare for essential works... ultimately, fit for its new future purpose.

 By pledging your support, you will be part of the story of Westburn house’s future success.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

Buy a Hard Hat Tour

Perfect present for any heritage or architectural enthusiast or student. This guided tour of the Westburn house project will give you a behind the scenes tour and understanding of heritage restoration. Our team will be focusing on creating a tour which will allow visitors a look behind the scenes during the breath-taking restoration phase.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

By Pledging £10 we invite you to become a Friend of Westburn House. As a member of this group, you will receive our special thanks and a copy of the digital newsletter. Be the first to enjoy lots of different Westburn house offers, invites to social activities and get active with hands-on volunteering.By helping you'll play a vital role in bringing this project to life for everyone to enjoy.

£20 or more

12 of 200 claimed

Buy a commemorative Pin badge

A commemorative badge by Aberdeen-based artist Gabi Reith. She was inspired to come up with the design after playing in Westburn Park as a child, and her father telling her about the Archibald Simpson buildings in Aberdeen. Gabi said “I think people overlook the architecture in the city and it is important to highlight it. It would be great if the people of Aberdeen got behind this and save this iconic building"

£27 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Eric Auld Prints - Granite City

Eric Auld Limited Edition Print - Granite City. The artist was a much loved Aberdonian who throughout his lifetime celebrated the city and its many virtues. He celebrated, in paint, the wonderful values seen in his city and was passionate about preserving the beloved assets of Aberdeen. It's fitting his paintings are helping raise funds. This print highlights many of the Archibald Simpson designed buildings. • Available in 200 x 285m

£27 or more

1 of 50 claimed

Eric Auld Prints - City Celebration

Eric Auld Limited Edition Print - City Celebration. The artist was a much loved Aberdonian who throughout his lifetime celebrated the city and its many virtues. He celebrated, in paint, the wonderful values seen in his city and was passionate about preserving the beloved assets of Aberdeen. It's fitting his paintings are helping raise funds. This print highlights many of the Archibald Simpson designed buildings. 275 x 200 mm

£50 or more

£50 Reward

By Pledging £50 you will receive a limited edition Westburn house Pin badge designed by the very talented local artist Gabrelle Reith of Small stories. Small stories is the home of the creative work, Every piece tells a story. Her design is inspired by her child hood playing in the Westburn park and her Architect Father telling stories about the many Beautiful Archibald Simpson Buildings around Aberdeen.

£2,500 or more

0 of 50 claimed

£2500 - Bronze Founder Patron

By pledging £2500 toward this project we will promote your business on our security wall - a huge opportunity for outdoor advertising and your business will be recognised as a Bronze Founder Patron. This promotion will be from concept to completion and be included in a Roll of Honour once the building is open to the public.

£5,000 or more

0 of 50 claimed

£5000 Silver Founder Patron

By pledging £5000 toward this project we will promote your business on our security wall - a huge opportunity for outdoor advertising and your business will be recognised as a Silver Founder Patron. This promotion will be from concept to completion and be included in a Roll of Honour once the building is open to the public.

£10,000 or more

0 of 25 claimed

£10000 Gold Founder Patron

By pledging £10000 toward this project we will promote your business on our security wall - a huge opportunity for outdoor advertising and your business will be recognised as a Gold Founder Patron. This promotion will be from concept to completion and be included in a Roll of Honour once the building is open to the public.

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