Balmoral awarded major lottery grant
PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:26 10 February 2015
A CLASSIC coastal cruise ship, which has not sailed commercially since 2012, could be returning to Clevedon this year after earning a massive lottery grant.
The MV Balmoral, which spent summer seasons in the Bristol Channel for more than 25 years, has been awarded £344,000 by the Coastal Communities Fund which may see the motor ship sailing from Clevedon Pier once more from as early as June.
Paul Doubler, a Balmoral volunteer, said: “What a fantastic 12 months we have had. So much has been done by so many different people to keep our ship alive and to bring us to where we are today.
“There is great excitement, coupled with nervous apprehension, about the positive future for our great ship.”
All of the work to try to get the Balmoral, which also received a £1,000 donation from Clevedon Town Council, functioning again has been carried out by volunteers, who now need to employ people to run the operating company and market the 2015 programme, as well as buy and set up an office. They also need to recruit and train a captain and crew capable of handling the 736 tonne ship.
Paul said: “We want more people to literally come on board and help us in any way they can.
“We have met the strict criteria of a national funding organisation and they had the confidence in us to award the grant. We hope this proves to all that Balmoral can sail - and in only a few months time.”
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