The future of one of Britain’s finest Victorian water pumping stations has been secured thanks to a huge donation from a local business.
Papplewick Pumping Station
Papplewick Pumping Station in Nottinghamshire was facing a bleak future due to the coronavirus lockdown. The charity relies almost entirely on income from 8 visitor weekends a year – four of which have already had to be cancelled.
And with no firm reopening date its financial situation was ‘dire’.
But local business Lakeside, which is transforming the former Bestwood Pumping Station into a premier wedding venue and restaurant, stepped in with a vital £30,000 donation which has secured the future of Papplewick until next year.
Papplewick Pumping Station Chair of the Trustees John Britten said: “This amazing donation could not have come at a more vital time for Papplewick Pumping Station.
“We have been trying to read the future of the COVID-19 situation to assess when we will be able to re-open. However, planning to survive without income for an indefinite period is challenging. This donation means we no longer have to worry about our short term financial future.
“It’s vital the pumping station stays open – it’s one of very few, if not the only, original water pumping stations left working on an original site.”
Papplewick Pumping Station was built in the early 1880s to pump clean drinking water to the city of Nottingham. It was designed by Thomas Hawksley and operated until 1969 when it was conserved as an award-winning museum.
Hawksley also built nearby Bestwood Pumping Station which operated from 1874 to 1964.
The Grade 2* listed building off Mansfield Road in Bestwood retains many of the original features and is now being transformed into a premier wedding venue with two restaurants and three bars – set to open late this year under the name Lakeside.
Amy Harrad and Richard Berridge, of Lakeside, said: “We were delighted to be able to step in to save the future of Papplewick Pumping Station. Here at Lakeside we are retaining as many of the original features of the pumping station as possible to ensure future generations can enjoy and appreciate the history of our site.
“Therefore, we understood the vital importance of ensuring the future of Papplewick Pumping Station which has a unique place in the community.
“At Lakeside, the Tower is a local landmark and we have renovated it to allow visitors to enjoy the majestic views over the surrounding countryside. We have named it The Thomas Hawksley Tower in honour of the work he contributed in not only designing our venue but for being responsible for saving millions of lives supplying clean water to local homes.”
Papplewick Pumping Station will have to adhere to the government social distancing guidelines when it does re-open. The size of the site and the sheer number of visitors makes this incredibly difficult. In addition, many of the volunteers upon which it relies are retired and isolating.
Mr Britten added: “This is a unique place for people to visit and such a good day out. Thanks to this generous donation from Lakeside, and other kind donations on our JustGiving fundraising page, we will be able to look forward to reopening once again at some point in the future.”