A trust is launching a £1million fundraising appeal to safeguard the future of Hartlepool’s historic HMS Trincomalee vessel as its 200th anniversary approaches.
It is hoped the huge sum can be raised to secure the upkeep of the record-breaking ship, which is moored at Jackson Dock, at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.
Independent charity the HMS Trincomalee Trust, which is running the appeal, depends entirely on income from visitors, corporate hospitality, weddings, filming and fundraising to preserve the ship.
Its annual maintenance and running costs are in the region of £300,000.
Launched in 1817, HMS Trincomalee has sailed waters the world over and served as an active warship protecting British interests in the Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean, before going into semi-retirement as a training ship, renamed Foudroyant. She is in the “Core Collection” of the National Register of Historic Vessels in the UK, because of her importance to the maritime heritage of the country and also has the proud claim of being the oldest British warship still afloat.
David McKnight, general manager of HMS Trincomalee, said: “This is a landmark anniversary of international importance and one that we’re really excited about.
HMS Trincomalee is one of the world’s most historically significant ships. We want her to still be floating in another 200 years, so she can be enjoyed by future generations.David McKnight, general manager of HMS Trincomalee
“HMS Trincomalee is one of the world’s most historically significant ships.
“We want her to still be floating in another 200 years, so she can be enjoyed by future generations.
“We hope that the appeal will raise much-needed funds and awareness of an important piece of maritime history.
“We want people from around the country and across the globe to visit the ship.
“To support the appeal, a fund-raising co-ordinator will be appointed with a remit to work with business and the community to raise as much money as possible.
“HMS Trincomalee costs about £300,000 a year to maintain.
“It’s crucial that we secure a funding pot that can contribute to the running and maintenance costs and provide us with a safety blanket, should there be unexpected repairs needed.”
Built in Bombay, India, in 1817, of Malabar Teak, the Trincomalee was brought to Hartlepool in 1987, where it took more than 10 years to restore the ship to her former glory.
She is now the premier attraction at the Maritime Experience, attracting thousands of visitors each year to the site.