Scotland’s famous tearooms is calling for art lovers everywhere to help protect the building from closure due to coronavirus
The future of Scotland’s most famous tearoom is under threat due to the impact of coronavirus. It is calling for Mackintosh, Art and Scottish Heritage lovers to keep the organisation open and to protect the jobs of the young people it employs.
The tearooms, first opened by Miss Catherine Cranston in 1903 and designed by world famous architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, fell into disrepair for years, before being painstakingly restored by the charity The Willow Tea Rooms Trust. After years of hard work, the building was re-opened to the public in 2018 as a tearoom and exhibition space named Mackintosh at the Willow.
The not-for-profit organisation now operates as a working tearoom, serving Scottish food and drink to art-lovers who come from around the world to experience one of the few surviving examples of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s designs. Every penny made in the tearooms is then reinvested to protect this important part of Scotland’s cultural heritage, while providing subsidised education to schools and employing and training vulnerable young people through its work with The Prince’s Trust and other charities.
This important work is now under threat due to the impact of coronavirus, and the organisation is asking for donations to help them raise enough funds in order keep their doors open.
Caitlin Divers, Operations Manager at The Mackintosh at the Willow said:
“Like many in the tourism and hospitality sector, we are facing an uncertain future. As a relatively new social enterprise without fundraising, we will be unable to open our doors after lockdown eases, and this will mean that our young workers will be out of a job, while the tearooms will once again have to close. We are extremely grateful for Scottish Government support and the job retention scheme, allowing us to protect jobs for now, and as a not-for-profit operation, we continue to apply for any grant funding that may be available. Even if we are fortunate enough to receive this support, we will still be unable to meet all the costs associated with running a heritage building without generating revenue, due to coronavirus.
Save Mac At The Willow
We are therefore asking for the support of anyone who can help as we aim to raise enough money to help safeguard part of Scotland’s cultural heritage and continue supporting young people and communities across Scotland”.