Plans to invest up to £500,000 at a Hartlepool tourist attraction have been unveiled.
The cash will be ploughed into Hartlepool’s National Museum of the Royal Navy next year.
Making the site sustainable and a real tourism gem for the regionProf Dominic Tweddle
An upgraded play ship for families, conservation work on centrepiece HMS Trincomalee, which is celebrating its bicentenary this year, and a creative art installation marking the centenary of the end of the First World War will be among the highlights of the additions.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy took over the operation of the former Hartlepool Maritime Experience and HMS Trincomalee site 12 months ago.
Since then new marketing and the rebranding of the site has generated an additional 11,500 visitors.
Much-needed funds totalling £250,000 have been invested on resolving maintenance issues and conservation on HMS Trincomalee, the sole-surviving link with the 19th Century Bombay shipyards and the UK’s oldest warship still afloat.
The recently rediscovered figurehead of the Trincomalee will be restored following the completion of a public crowdfunding campaign.
And, families will be welcomed into a new activity zone offering hands-on adventures themed on the story of the ship and her historic ties to the sub-continent and restoration in Hartlepool.
New volunteer and learning opportunities for young adults are being developed with an emphasis on gaining skills.
A countrywide art project by the National Museum to observe the end of centenary commemorations for the First World War, is expected to be launched at Hartlepool later this year and feature 100 life-sized statues decorated by renowned artists.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “Following a year-long consultation with visitors it is clear that they want more things to do for the family so they can make a full day of it.
“So investing in the family offer is essential. It means more people will visit, particularly locals, and this will have an overwhelmingly positive influence on the town.
“HMS Trincomalee remains the jewel in the crown on the site, but needs essential maintenance and conservation and must be a priority for us if she is to survive another 200 years.”
Prof Tweddle, went on to say: “We continue to work very well with our partners at Hartlepool Borough Council with the shared aim of making the site sustainable and a real tourism gem for the region.”