The future of Glasgow’s Tall Ship Glenlee has been secured thanks to the National Lottery Memorial Fund (NLMF).
The historic ship berthed at Pointhouse Quay by the Riverside Museum has secured £1.8million to cover essential maintenance to keep it afloat.
The funding grant comes as the 126-year-old vessel celebrates 30 years back in Glasgow.
The NHMF’s Covid-19 response funding stream was set up to save heritage of outstanding importance to the UK that was at risk due to the impact of coronavirus.
Vital checks and repairs to the hull, decks and rigging of the ship are all part of the programme of significant works which will take place over a two-year period, scheduled to be completed in early 2025.
The Tall Ship, which is currently closed to the public, will remain shut until the end of March 2023 for the first phase of repairs, before reopening to the public for the busy summer months.
It will close again in early 2024 for a three-month period for more extensive works.
The Tall Ship Glenlee will also use the opportunity while closed to carry out a refresh of the chartroom, thanks to additional funding support from Museums Galleries Scotland and The Friends of Glasgow Museums.
The chartroom was where navigational and communication equipment was housed to help the ship’s crew to sail safely around the world.
Fiona Greer, development director at The Tall Ship Glenlee, said: “This £1.8 million funding is a lifeline for maintaining our beloved Clydebuilt vessel and we are overjoyed to have secured it from the NaJonal Heritage Memorial Fund through their Covid-19 Respond Fund.
We look forward to seeing the transformation on board over the next two years so The Tall Ship Glenlee can continue inspiring, delighting and educating hundreds of thousands of people for many years to come.
“The Tall Ship epitomises the last epoch of sailing ships in the world and has become such an iconic part of the Glasgow skyline and the city’s cultural heritage.
“Although there will be spells of closure in the coming years, we are keen to ensure minimum disruption to our loyal visitors and this funding will ensure all of the essential works required can be carried out as soon as possible.
“We’re also very excited to be working with a host of specialists who we know care about getting The Tall Ship ship-shape as deeply as we do.
“We look forward to seeing the transformation on board over the next two years so The Tall Ship Glenlee can continue inspiring, delighting and educating hundreds of thousands of people for many years to come.”
Dr Simon Thurley CBE, chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said: “I am thrilled that the National Heritage Memorial Fund is able to support the Tall Ship Glenlee with this vital grant.
“We’re incredibly proud to have committed £20m of funding for some of the UK’s most magnificent heritage sites and assets in order to help them navigate the challenges that have arisen from the pandemic – the £1.8m awarded to the Tall Ship Glenlee is a wonderful example of how the Memorial Fund can help secure our heritage for the future.”
This year marks 30 years since the 126-year-old former merchant navy sailing vessel returned from Spain to be restored and placed back on the River Clyde.
The only surviving example of its kind in the UK, the ship which was built in Port Glasgow is of great historical importance.
It circumnavigated the globe five times, sailed the seas carrying cargo in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and survived both World Wars.