Stump Cross saved

A major tourist attraction has been saved from closure thanks to financial backing from the public.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:05 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:10 pm
Lisa Bowerman, owner of Stumps Cross Caverns, with her partner Nick Markham, celebrating the news of reaching the fundraising target to keep the Pateley Bridge attraction open. Picture James Hardisty.

A major tourist attraction has been saved from closure thanks to financial backing from the public.

Following a recent Government funding setback and having been hit hard by COVID restrictions the owners of Stump Cross Caverns, the Bowerman family, were

driven to desperate measures to keep the doors open.

The family decided to enter their own luxury VW campervan into a two-part crowdfunding appeal.

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

Commenting on the campaign’s success, which has seen more than 3,000 donations since its launch just over a month ago, Lisa Bowerman Owner

of Stump Cross Caverns 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 small, 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 their fundraising goal Lisa still hopes to keep raising vital cash.

The campervan fundraiser target has been raised to £60,000 to help them reach out and work closer with schools.

Lisa added: “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 the March 31. So, to be in with a chance to win, 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.”

Winners will be announced live from 8pm on March 31.

For more information on the appeal and to buy 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

Those missing the caverns or hoping to visit after lockdown can still explore the site from the comfort of their own home thanks to an interactive online virtual 3D tour, created by Leeds-based Apollo3D, and featured on the Stump Cross Caverns website www.stumpcrosscaverns.co.uk/.