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A fundraising campaign to restore the lighting at Stump Cross Caverns has cleared £38,000.

The Bowerman family, owners of the famous tourist attraction, are raffling off their Pateley Bridge home to allow them to install specialist lighting in the caves.

And following the success of their ‘Save the Caves’ campaign in which they raised £70,000, owners Lisa and Nick are hoping to raise £200,000 by offering up their apartment as a raffle prize.

Lisa said:

“The caves are unique in many ways but definitely when it comes to lighting them. It’s damp, inaccessible in places and so quite a challenge to illuminate it to its best advantage.

“We have turned to a specialist cave lighting firm in Germany who will help us along with our electricians to improve lighting in a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.”

Stump Cross owners Lisa and Nick (left) and the street of their Pateley Bridge apartment (right)

The couple were able to raise more than £70,000 when they raffled off their VW Campervan earlier this year, having failed in their attempts to secure government funding during the pandemic.

Stump Cross Caverns had seen a massive loss in income as visitor numbers dropped by 75%.

And Lisa has said that raffling off another of the family’s personal possession is “heartbreaking” but necessary to invest in the future of the business.

Lisa added:

“Having to sell another of our personal possessions is heartbreaking, but an unsuccessful bid for government funding and forced closures have seen ticket sales plummet, leaving us with losses of more than £500,000.

“We just haven’t had the income to cover maintenance and reinvest in the future of the caves.

“It’s make or break for us right now and selling the apartment is the only way we can do essential repairs, including the renewal of the lighting system, and also ensure the caves are here for the benefit of others for many generations to come.”

The Stump Cross Caverns Crowdfunder – currently at £38,804 – will remain open until 20,000 tickets are sold and £200,000 is raised. A date will then be set for the live prize draw.

If the £200,000 target isn’t met, refunds will be processed and the apartment withdrawn from the appeal.

Find the Crowdfunder campaign here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/win-a-home-pateley-bridge.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.