National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool bosses launch cash appeal over £6.3m loss in income since start of lockdown

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Finances at Hartlepool’s premier tourist attraction have been hit hard by the lockdown as navy museum bosses reveal income for its sites across the country is down by more than £6 million.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool has been closed to visitors since March 18 in line with government advice.

Now the museum, which also has sites at Portsmouth, Gosport, Belfast and Yeovilton, has revealed income is down by £6.35million.

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The loss to Hartlepool by June is estimated to be around £100,000.

HMS Trincomalee. Picture by Frank ReidHMS Trincomalee. Picture by Frank Reid
HMS Trincomalee. Picture by Frank Reid | JPIMedia Resell

More than two thirds of staff and volunteers across all sites have been furloughed to help protect finances and people are being asked make cash donations online.

Only 19% of the museum’s central funding comes from the Government with the rest having to be self-generated.

Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “We have reached out to departments across the Navy, Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and have had great messages of support; but nevertheless the situation still remains precarious.”

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The museum in Hartlepool, a recreation of 18th Century seaport, gets 3.64 million visitors a year, generating over £182 million a year for the local economy.

Dominic Tweddle. Picture by FRANK REIDDominic Tweddle. Picture by FRANK REID
Dominic Tweddle. Picture by FRANK REID | JPIMedia Resell

Following an agreement between the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Hartlepool Borough Council to work together including on an ambitious £30 million development programme for the museum and the wider Waterfront site, that is expected to increase to over £200 million.

Dominic added: “We know that the relationship between the Museum, Hartlepool and its people is special and that our work is integral in supporting the local economy.”

During the lockdown, shipwrights, riggers and curators are continuing to work to protect and preserve its exhibitions and fleet, including Hartlepool’s centrepiece HMS Trincomalee.

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Since closure, the museum has launched a #NavigatetheNavy campaign online, where people can log on to Twitter and Facebook for behind the scenes videos.

It is also planning a range of online content for a virtual VE Day celebration next month in conjunction with the National Army Museum and the Royal Air Force Museum.

Anyone wishing to donate to the museum should visit

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