Stump Cross Caverns issues plea for survival


Last updated Feb 19, 2021
Owners of Stump Cross Caverns Lisa Bowerman and Nicholas Markham.

The family which owns Stump Cross Caverns near Pateley Bridge is raffling off its prized camper van in an effort to save the business from going under.

Stump Cross Caverns is a popular tourist attraction where visitors can walk around an ancient limestone cave system.

But it’s been hit hard by covid restrictions which have left owners Lisa Bowerman and Nicholas Markham in a precarious financial position.

Lisa took over the business 18 years ago and told the Stray Ferret that 2020 was “shaping up to be our best year yet”.

The couple had just invested £500,000 into the business including a 4k cinema and new cafe.

But covid has meant they have been unable to welcome visitors for much of the last year.

And although they managed to open during summer and autumn, it was with reduced numbers.

Lisa said:

“We’re looking down the barrel of a gun. It’s tough, and there’s a real danger we won’t make it.

“But I’ve put my heart and soul into this business and I cannot just sit and do nothing.”

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The business received a bounce-back loan from the government last year but the money has almost run out.

To fundraise during the first lockdown Lisa and Nicholas took part in an “Everest” challenge which saw them walking the steps to the cave 1000 times — the same distance as climbing Mount Everest twice.

This time they hope to raise £50,000 through raffling off their beloved VW camper van which they say will give the business a fighting chance of survival.

Lisa added:

“We can buy a camper van back but we won’t be able to get our cave back if it’s gone.”

Click here to buy a ticket to be put into a raffle. One ticket costs £10.

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