With the destruction of the cafe, the Community Interest Company which runs Gunnersbury has now lost almost all its expected income for the coming months – no Lovebox, no Secret Cinema, no Shakespeare performance, no schools visits, no weddings or parties. For the first time ever, they have launched a donation scheme via their website where you can make a payment on line. Their initial target is modest, all financial support will be welcome, and Friends are keen to see this succeed.
David Bowler, the Chief Executive, writes “to be blunt we are forecasting a funding gap of £250k this year, and – unless the outlook changes – the closure of the organisation. So, I am asking for your help. This week we have launched a fund-raising campaign called #YourGunnersbury asking you to donate £10, the equivalent of a few cups of coffee, or whatever you can afford. We are hoping to raise £25,000 over the summer months to help us ensure that we keep Gunnersbury thriving now and well into the future”
Here is the letter David has sent out to launch this emergency fund-raising campaign:
Dear Friend of Gunnersbury Park
Firstly from everyone at Gunnersbury, we would like to wish you the best of health at this very difficult time.
I’m the CEO of Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC, a small not-for-profit organisation responsible for managing and maintaining Gunnersbury Park & Museum, aiming to create a leading heritage and leisure venue that serves all our diverse communities.
By now you will no doubt have seen that Gunnersbury Park Café was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of Friday morning and has been completely destroyed; a significant blow to the community.
What you might not be aware of is that every time you bought a cup of tea or coffee in the café, approximately 25p (10%) of that money was invested by us directly back into the maintenance and care of the park and museum. Each 25p along with 10% of the price of your pizza or sandwich amounted to over £70k per year, which has now been wiped out.
Gunnersbury CIC was already badly hit by Covid-19. We rely on income from our private hires and public programmes to thrive and survive, but due to the outbreak we have lost 40% of the entire yearly income over the space of a few weeks.
Gunnersbury is now facing the double whammy of the lost income from both Covid-19 and the recent fire to the café. To be blunt we are forecasting a funding gap of £250k this year, and – unless the outlook changes the closure of the organisation.
Minibeast Safari at Gunnersbury Park Museum. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd.
This week we have launched a fundraising campaign called #YourGunnersbury asking you to donate £10, the equivalent of a few cups of coffee, or whatever you can afford. We are hoping to raise £25,000 over the summer months to help us ensure that we keep #YourGunnersbury thriving now and well into the future.
We’ve worked incredibly hard to keep the park open for you and our community during lockdown. We have seen thousands more people using the park during this time and it’s been heartening to hear how the park has been a ‘lifeline’ and a ‘sanctuary’ to so many during the lockdown. If you have visited recently you will of seen our gardening team working flat out to keep the park looking beautiful. They’re the same team responsible for the multi-coloured blaze of tulips that have been bringing joy to many.
We know that times are difficult, and I’m sure you’ve had many appeals from similar organisations, but if you feel that could give just £10, your support will help us to ensure that we keep Gunnersbury thriving for you and our community, now and well into the future.
Look after yourselves, and we’ll do our utmost to keep Gunnersbury a safe and welcoming place for you.
CEO, Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC