Chiswick House reaches its funding target
In May, Chiswick House launched a fundraising campaign to raise much needed money to cover the everyday running costs of the estate. The #welovechiswickhouse campaign launched, and an ambitious target was set of £120,000 in 120 days.
With grit, hard work and the support of the local community they have done it. Raising over £127,555 (beating the original target) – of which the Chiswick House Friends Lego fundraiser has contributed £20,000 and the Chiswick House Dog Show Committee £5,000.
The money was raised through a programme of summer fundraisers: a plant fundraiser, an open day for families, a webinar series, culminating in the Chiswick House Auction. Simultaneously, the Chiswick House Friends Lego brick model fundraiser was also launched to support the #welovechiswickhouse campaign.
Xanthe Arvanitakis, Director of Chiswick House, said: “With incredible commitment from the team, both staff and volunteers, we have done it!“
Chiswick House would like to thank all the supporters who have not only donated money to the campaign but also attended events, spread the word and provided generous contributions to the recent auction.
Image above: Chiswick House (Photo: Anna Kunst)
The income raised will support costs that have been draining the reserves to keep open, which gives Chiswick House valuable time to focus on what happens next.
Three strategic projects have been identified to ‘broaden and deepen engagement’ with visitors and the local community:
- ‘Children’s Outdoor Play: exciting and inclusive play-area and programme for all our local communities’
- ‘Volunteering: a programme to improve wellbeing for vulnerable communities in Hounslow and expand our existing volunteer programme’
- ‘House interpretation: refreshed and engaging visitor experience to broaden our audiences in time for the planned reopening in April 2021.’
These three objectives have been fed into all fundraising bids to statutory funders (such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund) as well as Trusts and Foundations. Outcomes from these applications are expected by mid-October, but other applications are being made each week as new funds become available.
At the same time, reviews are being undertaken on how to generate commercial income in order to reduce the dependency on event income. Nicki Thomas, Head of Commercial, has led the charge on how to diversify commercial income by exploring better use of under-utilised spaces and grounds and new retail opportunities.
In the meantime, funding the essential maintenance of the gardens and grounds continues – a place which, more than ever before, has provided a real sanctuary to so many people. In addition, Chiswick House is working with colleagues across the gardening world to explore how the gardens can be further enhanced by staying true to its heritage, whilst also ensuring improvements to its biodiversity and wellbeing for visitors, local community groups and volunteers.
Chiswick House and Gardens Trust have set out the vision and ambitions in a 10 year Business Plan. The vision is to be: “A special place to delight, educate and be inspired by our 300 years of stories of influence, design and environment. For everyone everyday.”
Chiswick House wants to hear from you
Feedback is essential for Chiswick House to achieve its vision. They ask that members of the public read the 10-year plan and send feedback to email@example.com by 30th October.
You can see Chiswick House’s 10-year plan by following the link below:
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Redundancies at Chiswick House