The Tall Ship Glenlee, berthed at the Riverside Museum, has landed a major £1.8 million grant. The funding will pay for essential work on the 126 year old vessel. The monies have been secured from the National Heritage Memorial Fund through its Covid-19 Response Fund. This funding stream was set up to save heritage of outstanding importance to the UK. Moreover, it was set up for heritage at risk due to the impact of Covid.
It is hoped that the grant will support essential repairs as well as inspections required to ensure the ship remains in ship-shape condition. The works to the vessel will take two years and are hoped to be completed by 2025. What’s more, the Glenlee is celebrating its 30 year docked at Glasgow Clydeside.
At present the ship is closed to the public. However, It is hoped that the Glenlee will reopen at the end of March 2023 following the first phase of repairs. Open throughout the Summer months, it will close again in early 2024. Subsequently more extensive repairs will take place.
As well as essential repairs to the hull, decks and rigging, the chartroom will also be refreshed. This is thanks to additional funding from Museums Galleries Scotland and The Friends of Glasgow Museums. An essential part of the ship for navigation around the world, the room will be cleaned and varnished.
Fiona Greer, Development Director at The Tall Ship Glenlee, said,
‘This £1.8 million funding is a lifeline for maintaining our beloved Clydebuilt vessel and we are overjoyed to have secured it from the National Heritage Memorial Fund through their Covid-19 Respond Fund. The Tall Ship epitomises the last epoch of sailing ships in the world and has become such an iconic part of the Glasgow skyline and the city’s cultural heritage.’
Significance of the Glenlee
Hannah Cunliffe, Director of National Historic Ships UK said,
‘Glenlee is a highly significant vessel on the National Historic Fleet, being symbolic of global trade and a rare surviving example of her kind. After delays in planned maintenance resulting from Covid-19, it’s wonderful that the Trust is now in a position to undertake these important repairs so that, thanks to support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Glenlee can be preserved as an icon of Clyde shipbuilding for many years to come.’
The merchant sailing vessel, built 1896, circumnavigated the globe 5 times. In addition, It is the last remaining 3-masted Clyde-built sailing ship still afloat in the UK. Therefore, the Glenlee serves as a truly unique space for learning and heritage. With stories of the people and places involved in the vessel’s history, any visit comes to life. Hence, the ship is visited by around 200,000 people from all over the world each year.