The Westburn Development Trust is a driven community charity with the aim to see Westburn House restored & returned to its former glory.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
The answers revealed the top choices as ‘food and drink facility, toilets, disabled access, multi use space and facilities for Children'.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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
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.
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!
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.