Behind the scenes – fundraising and corporate sponsors
Whilst the engineers and those with practical skills pushed ahead with the hardware a skilful group worked tirelessly behind the scenes to raise the funds and secure the facilities to support the volunteer hours spent on direct restoration.
Right at the outset the “Danny” project was supported by some of the biggest corporate organisations in the area and even many small companies came forward to offer their help. Svitzer Marine from day one has helped with towage whilst Peel Holdings and United Utilities have provided free workshop and berthing facilities.
The workshop at Sandon Dock used by the engineers includes a machine shop filled with donated equipment and has been vital to the project. The numbers of donors is already too long for this web- page and that is continuing with training facilities donated by Llangollen Railway.
The team at DAPS have been very active in their fundraising activity and early in the project were supported by grants from charitable foundations such as Esmee Fairbairn, Garfield Weston and Prism which acted as “seed corn” to get the project underway and later of course came the HLF grants amounting to close to £4 million and a landfill tax funded grant of £75k via WREN for the art-deco areas.
Cruises on the Mersey ferries, open days and members contributions have all added to the coffers but the most innovative arrangement was with Frodsham Brewery who were to develop “Danny” ale a 4.2% hopped bitter that sold throughout the North west and paid royalties to the DAPS coffers.
The overall result of this activity is that the direct work carried out by volunteers was to be valued at close to £1million prior to the main HLF grant.
Open to the public- the Albert Dock experience
DAPS have always been keen to contribute to any events celebrating the maritime industry on the Mersey and ship canal with buses laid on from Albert Dock on river festivals to show the public around the vessel in Albert Dock.
In 2015 there came the opportunity to have the vessel actually in the dock for the event with another free tow by a Svitzer tug but this time the vessel was to stay in the dock until the HLF award was made and this was to demonstrate the public demand for the vessel to return to operational service.
Wrapped in plastic sheeting and with her paintwork clearly the worse for wear she was to attract some 13,000visitors who donated £11,000 for her restoration. Both BBC and ITV regional news had articles on her at peak viewing times