Glasgow southside’s Glad Cafe nears half-way point in £40K Crowdfunder appeal

The Glad Cafe has been a popular venue for local bands for the past seven years. (Photo: Paul Chappells)
The Glad Cafe has been a popular venue for local bands for the past seven years. (Photo: Paul Chappells)

A crowdfunder to assure the future of a popular southside music and arts venue is approaching the half-way point just a week after its launch.

The Glad Cafe is aiming to raise £40,000 as its contribution towards the cost of refurbishing the building which houses its premises, and by Wednesday had reached the £17,000 mark.

With another £1000 donation in the pipeline, the appeal is expected to reach at least £18,000 by the weekend.

But the clock is ticking as the deadline for reaching the target sum is June 3.

The cafe was established seven years ago and since then has delivered a packed programme of live music as well as art exhibitions, films, talks, comedy and theatre on a not for profit basis.

The enterprise, which includes the venue, the Glad Rags shop and Glad Foundation music charity is backed by a team of 16 staff who help to create the warm and friendly atmosphere beloved by performers, audiences and customers.

It is based in a listed building which it rents and shares with 10 shops and 24 households but the fabric of the entire building is in urgent need of attention to keep it watertight.

Rachel said: “Since opening in 2012 we have dreaded rain.

“We’ve always wondered how to deal with this, as fixing the roof properly has never been an affordable option and fraught with the difficulties that come along with listed building standards.

“But at last we and our neighbours have been thrown a lifeline with the promise of grants from Glasgow City Heritage Trust and Glasgow City Council to cover half the costs of a complete refurbishment to the roofs, stonework and guttering of the whole building.

“However, we must all pay our share – a whopping £40,000.”

The crowdfunding campaign was launched on May 6 with the backing of Scottish rock giants Deacon Blue, who have chosen to support the Glad Cafe with one of only four charity gigs the band will play this year.

Tickets for the September gig, however, sold out within two minutes of going on sale last week.

The appeal does offer other incentives, however, for different amounts donated, and vary from being listed on a wall of donors in the cafe to coffee and cake, merchandise and even festival tickets up for grabs.

But despite the initial support, Rachel said they are taking nothing for granted and are continuing to push the appeal as hard as they can, as the alternative to reaching the total is unthinkable.

She added: “We’re quite nervous about the whole process, but we felt it was something we had to go for.

“It’s been utterly moving how supported we feel by people who have donated gifts that we can have for rewards and also comments left on our crowdfunding page.

“But we were told to expect an initial rush of support with a lull in the middle with a worry about hitting our target.

“It’s been affirming in lots of ways so we’re hoping we can get the £40,000.

“If we don’t hit the target on time, we don’t get the money and I don’t know what we’d do then.

“It’s an all or nothing situation.”

Donations to the Glad Cafe’s appeal can be made online at Glad Cafe Crowdfunder