200th anniversary sees visitor boom for Hartlepool’s HMS Trincomalee

HMS Trincomalee, which forms part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool.
HMS Trincomalee, which forms part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool has seen an increased number of visitors as the HMS Trincomalee celebrated its 200th anniversary.

HMS Trincomalee, the oldest warship still afloat, marked the anniversary last year, welcoming an additional 11,500 visitors.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool attracts more than 50,000 visitors annually, while the National Museum of the Royal Navy attractions across the UK experienced a 17% increase in the year.

More than £500,000 has been invested in the maintenance and conservation of the HMS Trincomalee, which is the sole-surviving link with the 19th Century Bombay shipyards.

In addition, over the last 22 years, more than £5million has been received through various Lottery-funded projects to maintain HMS Trincomalee, which has contributed to Tees Valley and Hartlepool’s leisure economies.

Rachel Shepherd, events manager at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “We have enjoyed strong growth across our sites in the UK, particularly in Hartlepool as HMS Trincomalee celebrated her bicentenary.

“Each year we welcome tens of thousands of people to the North East as HMS Trincomalee and the wider museum has grown to become one of Tees Valley’s iconic visitor attractions.

“The National Museum of the Royal Navy has a number of exciting events planned in Hartlepool this year, including the town’s first rum festival, so we are hoping to continue to attract even more visitors that will further boost the regional, tourism economy.”

The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool is welcoming an initiative aimed at adding £1billion to the Tees Valley tourism economy.

‘Enjoy Tees Valley’ has been launched by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, led by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, which aims to create 3,000 additional jobs in the region and contribute £1bn to the local economy by 2021.

The initiative was at a time when the region is preparing a bid to become the 2025 City of Culture.

Rachel added: “The initiative launched by the Mayor of Tees Valley is welcome news for the region and we will continue to support the combined authority to boost tourism in Hartlepool and across Tees Valley.”

The rum festival is being held at the town venue on Saturday, August 11, from 7.30pm to 11pm.

There will be a large selection of rums available to sample, including Alnwick Rum and Pusser’s Rum, with further brands to be announced.

A number of rum-related masterclasses will be held over the course of the evening, along with live entertainment.

The event comes following the success of a rum festival held at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth, with the charity deciding to bring the event up north.