Awarded £99,245.79 (22.11% of the total project costs of £444,350) of LEADER funding from Making it Local towards the building of a visitors centre at Ferne Animal Sanctuary, to enable them to make Ferne a formal tourist attraction. Increasing the income of the centre to enable them to increase visitor numbers and maintain the grounds.
Ferne Animal Sanctuary was established in 1941 by Nina, Duchess of Hamilton and is a registered charity managed by Elaine Hayes the Chief Executive and a board of trusties.
Ferne Animal Sanctuary started as a place to care for animals that belonged to people going away to war. Sadly many of the animals’ owners did not return and therefore the sanctuary began. Today Ferne still offer life-long care for animals in need. They also re-home animals over 200 dogs and 250 cats each year.
The applicant is now seeking support to invest in a new visitors centre. This project has come about driven by the need to increase income, as 70% of the income of the sanctuary comes from legacies. Currently the sanctuary and stunning grounds are open to visitors on an honesty basis and therefore not all visitors pay. The Visitors centre will enable them to ensure they collect all the admissions. The visitor centre is part of a large development on the site including a café and gift shop, which will increase the visitor numbers, making the site a true tourist destination.