Visitor attraction saved from permanent closure

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Stump Cross Caverns, a Yorkshire Dales visitor attraction, has been saved from permanent closure thanks to “overwhelming” public financial support.

Following a recent Government funding setback and having been hit hard by COVID restrictions the Caverns owners, the Bowerman family, were driven to desperate measures to keep their business going.

They even entered their own luxury VW campervan into a two-part crowdfunding appeal.

But thanks to local people and others from around the country who heard about the plight of the caves, the campaign has already reached its £53,000 target, giving the attraction a fighting chance of survival.

Commenting on the campaign’s success, which has seen more than 3,000 donations since its launch over a month ago, Stump Cross Caverns owner Lisa Bowerman said: “It’s difficult to express just how much we value the staggering reaction we’ve received from the public during our fight to save the caves from closure.

“An unsuccessful application for a Government grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund was a massive blow and left us with no other choice but to reach out to the public for support.

“Thanks to their unbelievable generosity we no longer have to worry about what the future has in store.

“Our family-run business will remain open and continue to educate and wow those who experience the splendour of the ancient cave system here at Stump Cross.”

Despite reaching the fundraising goal two weeks ahead of the appeal’s closing date, she added she hopes to keep raising vital cash for the caves and has stretched the campervan fundraiser target to £60,000.

Bowerman said: “Having met our financial goal, one lucky person is guaranteed to drive away in their very own VW campervan and five more will benefit from memorable Stump Cross experiences.

“All will be announced following our live draw on 31 March. So, to be in with a chance to win, we ask people to keep pledging and enter.

“Every penny counts towards helping the caves, educating children and reassuring our customers that our doors will remain open after the pandemic.”

For more information on the appeal and to purchase tickets visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/vw-campervan-prize-draw–it-could-be-you or  www.crowdfunder.co.uk/prize-draw-win-up-to-5-prizes

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