The supporters of a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign for RRS Discovery have been thanked for playing their part in helping restore the historic ship.
In two private VIP events held last week at Discovery Point in Dundee, backers of the £40,000 fundraiser on crowdfunder.co.uk were acknowledged for helping to contribute towards the £350,000 conservation project on the ship’s rigging.
Two hundred and fifty supporters came together over five weeks in the crowdfunding campaign, which gained the backing of everyone from schoolchildren and a newborn baby, to businesses and TV celebrity Lorraine Kelly. Rewards to donors include postcards, prints, T-shirts and VIP tours of the ship.
Despite a nailbiting last few days, the campaign – held in October and November last year – hit its target early. The donation which pushed the campaign to its target came from Allan Friel-Myles (pictured, centre), owner of Tickety Boo’s bar in Dundee, as well as Half a Tanner in Perth, the Scone Arms, and the 19th Hole hotel in Carnoustie.
Allan, who has links to RRS Discovery and its sister attraction in Dundee, Verdant Works, made the donation from a bar in New York City. After clicking on his smart phone to check on the crowdfunding campaign’s status, he saw it was close to target. A couple of clicks later he had donated £1195.00, taking the total to £40,000. The donations kept rolling in, surpassing the crowdfunding goal by almost £2,000.
RRS Discovery was built in Dundee in 1900 and famously took Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic for a voyage of scientific exploration. The rigging was dismantled late last year and sent down to Gloucester for meticulous repair by an expert shipbuilding company, T. Nielsen & Company. Nielsen’s recently put Discovery’s masts and rigging back up in time for the summer season of visitors.
Andy Lothian, chairman of Dundee Heritage Trust, which runs Discovery and Verdant Works, said:
“On behalf of Dundee Heritage Trust we again extend our thanks to the 250 supporters of our crowdfunding campaign. Restoration and preservation work such as this is vital for such a historic vessel, which in my view is one of our national treasures. The impressive amount of backing this campaign received clearly demonstrates that many others share my view.”
Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said:
“RRS Discovery was made in Dundee and continues to be supported by Dundee, as the huge success of our crowdfunding campaign shows. Locals like Allan came together to help at a vital time for our historic ship’s preservation, meaning they and their families can continue to enjoy this treasure for many years to come. Our thanks go out to all of the 250 supporters, and we’re grateful Allan sat down for that drink in New York!”