Some of you will have seen on social media that things are a bit challenging at the moment – the owner of the building that contains Ron Gittins’ incredible art environment has decided to sell up.
WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR HELP NOW
We had hoped to lease the building for a year to run some pilot projects but the owner has now decided to sell at auction on 1st March at a guide price of £325,000. We have set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to save Ron’s Place – PLEASE help – thank you!
This has come as a horrible shock after all the time and effort we’ve put into protecting Ron’s legacy but we’re not ready to give up without a fight. Ron’s is a unique and internationally acclaimed example of an ‘Outsider Art’ visionary environment right here in the UK with the potential to inspire people in the local community and beyond. We don’t just want to preserve Ron’s Place in aspic – we want it to be a dynamic space that opens people’s eyes and minds to the joy of creativity and power of imagination.
We set up Wirral Arts and Culture Community Land Trust as a legal entity with Ron’s Place as our flagship project, and have managed to hang onto Ron’s Place so far on a monthly rental basis thanks to our loyal supporters and fundraising efforts – our brilliant patron Jarvis Cocker even put on a night at the Liverpool Playhouse for us and donated the proceeds to Ron’s Place! We’ve also been facilitating visits for small groups connected to organisations in the local community concerned with arts, mental health and the impact creativity can have on our wellbeing. The outcome of some of these activities was shown at our day long IMAGINATE festival at Birkenhead’s Future Yard in September this year. Despite professional appraisals demonstrating the significance of Ron’s Place, and considerable media interest including a great Guardian article, being the most watched story on the BBC News website and a slot on ITV’s News at Ten) we haven’t been eligible to apply for major funding due to lacking security of tenure.
We’re in full on campaign mode now and pulling out all the stops to find a solution that will allow us to safeguard Ron’s as a valuable community asset and place of wider cultural significance.
In addition to Ron’s ground floor fantasy domain, the building has 3 upstairs flats that could be refurbished and let out to local people/ artists and /or cultural visitors wishing to explore the delights of the Liverpool City Region. There is also a large garden and a cellar that could be dug out and used for studio/ archive / exhibition space. The garden is large enough to accommodate a further studio or workshop space. See attached PROPOSAL FOR UNIQUE ARTS ACCOMMODATION IN BIRKENHEAD as one option.
WACCLT is seeking to create a partnership with a sympathetic buyer and would appreciate any bright ideas, suggestions, endorsements and contacts you may wish to share. Practical expertise in fundraising, heritage, culture and placemaking are also welcome. We’d love to hear from you, and see you at our public meetings in Birkenhead if you’re able to come along.
Thanks for your interest in WACCLT and Ron’s Place.