THE crowdfunding campaign for a new restaurant on the Prescot high street smashed its initial target as it raised more than £86,000 in 24 hours.

The former Betfred, on Eccleston Street, will be a bistro-style restaurant called Pinion and is the brainchild of restaurateur Gary Usher who also owns Wreckfish in Liverpool, Hispi in Didsbury, Sticky Walnut in Chester and Burnt Truffle in Heswall on the Wirral.

Gary launched the fundraising campaign with an initial target of £50,000.

In total 1,193 backers contributed to the appeal, with donations adding up to in excess of £86,000.

The initial money target was broken in three hours after the appeal was launched at 7pm on May 29.

Gary said: “The support we have received for Pinion has absolutely blown me away. I’m still in shock.

"We’re really lucky to have supporters who have been behind every single Kickstarter but this time we’ve had the people from Prescot behind us too, which has been really lovely to see."

He added: “With crowdfunding seeming to have a bit of a bad rep, I really wanted to make this time round completely transparent.

"With the 24-hour timeframe, it meant that people pay their money and they’ll get their voucher in a reasonable amount of time.

"We also are putting every single backer’s name on the wall at Pinion to just say a massive thanks to each and every one of them.”

The bistro, providing freshly baked bread and simple dishes will find its home in what is currently an empty building.

Pinion is the name for a mechanism in a watch, linking to the area’s watch-making history, and also means the outer part of a bird’s wings that get cut to prevent flight.

Pinion is expected to become a reality in autumn 2018, with the bistro set to be in the same "relaxed style" as Gary’s other restaurants; Sticky Walnut in Chester, Burnt Truffle in Heswall, Hispi in Manchester and Wreckfish in Liverpool.

A year ago Gary had raised more than £200,000 for his fourth restaurant, Wreckfish, in Liverpool.

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