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£80 miillion Flagship for Britain project scuppered
11:34am Monday 7th October 2013 in News
PLANS to build a spectacular £80m, Hampshire designed “Flagship for Britain” have been scuppered.
The project to build the vessel, which was planned to be the most modern square-rigged, adventure training and education sailing ship in the world, have now been mothballed due to the recession.
At first the privately funded vessel, which was also to be used in a trade and diplomatic role, attracted enthusiastic support of the main political party leaders and the British marine industry, but despite several pledges, including one of £5m, the UK Flagship charity says it cannot meet targets because fundraising has been hit by the recession.
Design of the 650ft long vessel was executed by Colin Mudie, a Royal Designer for Industry, based in Lymington and recognised as one of the leading naval architects of his time.
“Of course I am deeply disappointed by the news but it was not totally unexpected,” said Mr Mudie.
“I spent 15 years working on the design for the vessel, which I always hoped would be based in Southampton.
“The plans may have been mothballed but everything is not entirely wasted as the plans are still there and you never know somebody might come along one day and provide the financial backing.”
The square-rigger would have been used as a floating maritime university, a prestigious showcase for Britain’s manufacturing and commercial sectors while also giving youngsters from across the Commonwealth practical, sail training experience.
George Warren, chairman of the Flagship UK charity trustees said “every avenue” had been explored to find cash for what was hoped to have been the most technically advanced square-rigger sailing today.
At the time of the project’s launch, more than a year ago, Hampshire’s deputy Lord Lieutenant Maldwin Drummond, trustee and board member of the national charity UK Flagship Project, said: “The ship will be a rallying point for the nation, she will represent the values of equality, pride, opportunity through education, achievement, and endeavour.
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