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Leading conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre has revealed that it has been saved from closure, after its first public appeal in 20 years raised over £200k and resulted in the launch of a new Friends initiative.

The devastating impact of closing the doors of its five-star visitor attraction in response to the COVID19 pandemic, left the charity facing potential permanent closure in April.

Thanks to the overwhelmingly generous support of the public, members, funders and emergency grants the award-winning charity has weathered the immediate financial storm and has been able to re-open their doors to the local community and visitors. The charity has even launched a new Friends initiative in response to the number of people who wanted to find a way to regularly contribute to the charity.

Scottish Seabird Centre CEO Susan Davies said: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to all our members, funders and supporters for their incredibly generous support. They have saved us from a very immediate threat of permanent closure and we will be forever grateful to them. It’s been a fantastic start on our road to recovery from the financial impact of COVID-19.”

“The incredible response to our appeal shows the support we have for continuing to inspire people about the amazing marine wildlife and habitats found around Scotland’s coasts. This has led us to develop and launch our new Friends of the Scottish Seabird Centre scheme. Our new Friends, alongside our existing supporters, funders and members, will play critical role in ensuring that we can continue our vital work in the years ahead”.

Despite the positive news the future remains uncertain and the charity is preparing for challenging times ahead.

With a significant period of their peak tourism season lost during lockdown and restrictions reducing normal visitor capacity by almost 70%, the visitor experience is currently only providing a fraction of the funds that the charity needs to continue its vital work to help conserve Scotland’s marine environment.

Explaining the significant role in their Friends initiative will play in the Scottish Seabird Centre’s continued recovery, Fundraising Manager, Charlotte Bray said: “We’ve been so delighted at the amazing response to our appeal. Not only have people been giving one-off gifts, but we’ve also seen a rise in people wanting to give a small donation monthly.

“This is a great opportunity for us. Regular giving is fantastic for our charity as it means we’re able to plan and deliver our important education and conservation work for the future, knowing that we have the support.

“The new Friends scheme is particularly designed for people who aren’t able to make use of our membership benefits – for example those who don’t live nearby – but still want to know they are doing their bit to support Scotland’s amazing seabirds and marine environment.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming our first Friends on board.”

For more information or to sign up to the Scottish Seabird Centre Friends scheme visit