TV presenter Lorraine Kelly is fronting a crowdfunding campaign which will back RRS Discovery, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous expedition ship, in a vital restoration phase.
The ship, which is docked at Discovery Point in Dundee, is about to enter a nine-month repair programme which will see its masts come down and its rigging cleaned and repaired. Dundee Heritage Trust, which owns the ship – now a major visitor attraction for the city – wants to raise £40,000 towards the highly detailed work, which will cost £350,000 in total.
A crowdfunding campaign launched this week features Lorraine Kelly, a patron of Dundee Heritage Trust, long-time supporter of RRS Discovery and resident of Dundee. “The Discovery was built to last a relative few years in one of the harshest environments on the planet. That’s why ongoing maintenance and restoration are essential, to keep her looking outstanding and also to maintain her position as one of Dundee’s favourite visitor attractions – she’s certainly one of mine! Dundonians quite rightly feel a kind of ownership of her,” says Lorraine in a video that accompanies the campaign.
Dundee Heritage Trust has appointed maritime consultant John Watson for the rigging project. John was instrumental in getting RRS Discovery back to Dundee in 1986 and is a former chief executive for Dundee Port Authority. The work will be carried out by T. Neilsen & Company, a world specialist in repairing, restoring and building traditional ships, based in Gloucester.
RRS Discovery will be closed for three weeks in November while the masts come down, during which time Discovery Point will remain open for business with entry at a discounted rate.
Donors to the crowdfunding campaign, which runs throughout November, will receive a range of rewards, depending on the size of their donation.
Paul Jennings, executive director for Dundee Heritage Trust, said:
“We’re proud of the fact that RRS Discovery and Discovery Point are one of Dundee’s most popular visitor attractions. However, regular and detailed upkeep of this historic vessel is vital and as a charitable trust we rely on the generosity of the public. That’s why we’re asking for donations, however big or small, towards the rigging project. It’s only through proper maintenance and restoration that we can ensure she will be here for Dundonians and their families to enjoy for many more years to come.”
Dundee Heritage Trust, formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past, operates RRS Discovery and social history museum Verdant Works, both five-star rated attractions and winners of numerous awards.
The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b
For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com