English Heritage has raised over £40,000 through its first ever crowdfunding page, Project Iron Bridge, exceeding its original £25,000 target.
More than 800 people have now donated to the crowdfunding page, which was set up on 13 November by English Heritage to raise money to help with the organisation’s £3.6m conservation project for the Iron Bridge over the River Severn in Shropshire.
According to the latest figures on English Heritage’s page, 821 supporters have now raised £44,310 for the bridge. English Heritage said that within 48 hours of launching the page, its initial £25,000 target had been exceeded.
A spokesman for English Heritage said the organisation chose the Iron Bridge for its first ever crowdfunding page because “we felt that the love people have for the structure and the nature of the vital conservation work we are doing there lends itself very well to a public fundraising campaign”.
He also said that, “given the support” the project has received, English Heritage would “certainly be considering using crowdfunding again” in the future.
English Heritage said the crowdfunding campaign complements a €1m (£890,000) donation from the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation, based in Germany.
Luke Purser, development director at English Heritage, said, “It will cost £3.6m to conserve the Iron Bridge and we’re very grateful for the support that we’ve already received from our members and donors so far. But to save this wonder of the modern world, we need everyone’s help.
“That’s why we opened Project Iron Bridge up to the crowd – to give as many people as possible the opportunity to be part of the Iron Bridge’s story and ensure that this historic landmark is there for future generations to enjoy.
“By asking for the public’s support, our charity aims to provide the chance for everyone to get involved and play a role in passing on the legacy of those who shaped our world today.“
The bridge was first built in 1779 and was the first free-standing structure ever to be made entirely of cast iron. The charity said the bridge is “the great-great grandfather of bridges, railways and skyscrapers all around the world today”.