Plans for temporary shelter to house ship in £5m restoration project at Hartlepool Marina

RML 497, which is set to be restored in Hartlepool.
RML 497, which is set to be restored in Hartlepool.

Plans have been submitted to build a temporary shelter to house a Second World War ship at the centre of a £5million restoration project.

Hartlepool Borough Council bosses announced earlier this year plans transport the RML 497 from its current berth in Southampton to the town as part of the extension of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN).

The National Museum Royal Navy Hartlepool.  Picture by FRANK REID

The National Museum Royal Navy Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

The extension and the restoration is hoped to create hundreds of jobs.

Proposals have now been submitted to the council to create a temporary building to house the ship by the museum at the Hartlepool Marina site.

The vessel is one of the ships which would have gone out to rescue Second World War pilots who were lost in the Channel.

A planning statement said: “The proposal is needed to support the strategic long term interests of NMRN and the council in improving the range of facilities and activities for the museum.

The National Museum Royal Navy Hartlepool.  Picture by FRANK REID

The National Museum Royal Navy Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

“Immediately, it is needed in order to save and restore a historic World War II Rescue Launch (RML 497) for the benefit of NMRN, the town and country.

“The NMRN are anxious to relocate RML 497 from its present water mooring into a properly controlled dry environment where restoration can commence.

“This would need to be at its National Museum centre at Hartlepool where it can be viewed by the general public as restoration progresses and where it is the intention that the vessel would be finally located at a berth still to be determined.”

The proposed museum expansion and ship restoration would also create hundreds of jobs in the town.

Display of the proposal.

Display of the proposal.

The vessel’s condition means it can not move under its own steam and would require a lift out onto a cradle and then moved by barge to Hartlepool for restoration.

Museum bosses said this needs to be carried out ‘as soon as possible’ as it can be a difficult process and has to be undertaken before the weather deteriorates over winter.

The proposed site is currently used as coach parking for Hartlepool’s Maritime Museum and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

The 500 space car park would lose 20 spaces if plans were given the go-ahead.

The potential loss of the coach parking area in the existing car park will be relocated to the west in lieu of underused car parking spaces.

The proposed temporary building would be 40 metres by 15 metres and protect the ship from weather.

The time taken for the restoration work is not yet known and would be dependent on grant support which the council are involved in.

In the present circumstances NMRN consider the works would be completed within five years.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service