Saved! Urban beach rescued by Harrogate charity's crowdfunding campaign

Youngsters enjoying the urban beach at Henshaws in Knaresborough at a past feva event.
Youngsters enjoying the urban beach at Henshaws in Knaresborough at a past feva event.
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Knaresborough's urban beach has been saved after an urgent crowdfunding campaign.

There was a real danger that this family-friendly high point of the town's annual feva arts festival would bite the dust - or sand, rather.

But Harrogate/Knaresborough charity Henshaws, which hosts the beach and various live entertainments each August at its arts and crafts centre near Bond End - appealed to the public for their help.

The response of the local community was phenomenal.

In total, more than 50 residents and businesses came together to support Henshaws, including Knaresborough firm NM Group, located at Whitfield Business Park who announced a donation of £1,600.

As a result, the urban beach will return to feva and Henshaws, which supports people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to go beyond expectations.

Maria Dawbarn, centre manager at Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre, said: “The beach is the number one thing to do here in Knaresborough this summer, with activities every day for children and beach cocktails for mums and dads.

"The generous donations received through the crowd funding campaign mean we can host the beach again, now we just need to order the sunshine!”

Last month, Henshaws ran their very first crowd funding campaign, asking local residents and businesses alike to support the Henshaws urban beach.

The beach is now a permanent fixture in the calendars of families from across the north but was at risk of disappearing as the Knaresborough feva committee could no longer stretch to supporting it.

Kevin Jacobs, CEO of NM Group, an international provider of asset management services to the electricity sector, said the company was keen to help secure the future of the urban beach.

He said: “NM Group have been based in Knaresborough for more than ten years. We are part of the local community here and believe it is important to support charities that work in the area. Therefore, we are proud to help ensure this amazing facility remains open to the public”.

Sarah-Jane Martin, corporate fundraising manager for Henshaws said: “We’re so grateful to NM Group for supporting us; as a small charity it’s great to see an international company helping us out and keeping the beach at the heart of summer in Knaresborough.”

Through Henshaws' workshops, people living with a range of disabilities discover their talents, put them into practice and realise their full potential.