A MUCH-loved community farm that announced they were on the brink of closure has said they will be able to remain open following a successful fundraiser.

We previously reported that the Lamont Farm Project in Erskine revealed yesterday (December 28) that the centre for rescued and retired animals could close in February due to "astronomical" bills.

To help save the farm, a fundraiser had been set up which originally aimed to raise £5,000, however, it has now raised more than £31,000 after "going viral".

The Gazette:

Yvonne Elliot, the farm's voluntary manager told the Gazette, that thanks to the donations, the venue will be able to remain open for at least another year.

She said: "There are no words.

"We set it up with a target of £5000 thinking that it was probably a bit on the high side, and we were hoping even if we could even make half of it, it would be brilliant.

"We then hit the £5000 mark within the first couple of hours.

The Gazette:

"I mean we've never seen anything like it. We've never seen the support that we've got from this.

"The community has always been good when we're in need and they always rally around to help us, but this seems to have gone far and wide.

"We've had people from Spain message with support and donations, as well as America. We've also had people who have been coming to the farm for years, people who have never been to the farm but now want to come and visit."

Revealing the welcoming funding boost would help keep the farm gates open, the volunteer said it has "saved" them.

"It gives us a cushion for probably about a year and we'll keep going with our fundraising and applying for grants and everything that we normally do," Yvonne said.

The Gazette:

"It's brilliant that this money has come in and it will see us safe for a good bit but if we don't keep going with fundraising and don't keep bringing the money in, we're going to hit the same position in a year.

"The idea is to use it as a buffer and fix what we need to fix."

The manager said the fundraiser has also given them "hope", adding: "Put it this way - we woke up relaxed this morning." 

In the social media post yesterday, a spokesperson for the venue said: "The cost of running is at an all-time high and the donations are at an all-time low.

"Everyone knows the issues we had with gaining funding this year.

"The donations we gratefully received from companies have definitely helped maintain us for now, and for a couple more months but after that, the money will have run out."

The Gazette:

It was revealed that it costs around £200 every couple of weeks for food and around £500 every three weeks for hay and straw - which is just the "basics".

They added: "Add in electricity, gas, vet bills, farrier dentist bills, repairs, and all the other wee bits that go along with having animals - the costs are astronomical."

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