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Funding secured for First World War ship restoration project
A CAMPAIGN to restore an historic warship in Hampshire has received a £1.8million funding boost.
HMS M33, a coastal bombardment vessel which took part in the Gallipoli Campaign in the First World War, is currently berthed in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Hampshire County Council, which bought the warship in 1990, wants to open the warship to the public, and has now received news that £1.79million has been earmarked for the project by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Councillor Keith Chapman, executive member for Culture, Recreation and the Countryside, said: “We are absolutely delighted by this fantastic news.
“We have long-known this warship is of national and international significance. Without Hampshire County Council’s Museums Service initial intervention to acquire the ship and now this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the M33 could have been lost forever.”
The county council has set aside £250,000 for the project, taken from the sale of one of its buildings in Portsmouth.
It will also underwrite £200,000 to be raised by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which will become the warship’s new owners by 2015.
Hugh Robertson, minister for tourism, said: “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Hampshire County Council and the National Museum of the Royal Navy can start work to bring this warship back to life in time to be a part of the centenary commemorations for the Gallipoli Campaign in 2015.”
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