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Grant propels HMS Unicorn towards Dundee Maritime Heritage Centre

Dundee City Council awarded a grant of £30,000 to Unicorn Preservation Society (UPS) from the Regional Recovery Fund, granted by the Scottish Government. The grant has enabled the UPS to undertake work that has progressed the development of the major maritime development project - Dundee Maritime Heritage Centre.

Tourism and Enterprise Minister Ivan McKee said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to make the Regional Recovery Fund available to regions across Scotland, in order to support these vital early stages of economic recovery. The transformation of Dundee waterfront in recent years has been remarkable, and I trust that the important but challenging work of the Unicorn Preservation Trust will only increase its attractiveness to locals and visitors alike.”

HMS Unicorn will form the centre-piece exhibit of the new Maritime Heritage Centre. Despite the ship being closed for several months and the many challenges posed by the pandemic, Unicorn is entering one of the most exciting phases in the history of the ship.

Work has started on the second phase of the conservation journey of this remarkable floating museum and educational resource; Unicorn is a UK heritage asset and an integral part of the next phase of the Dundee waterfront development. This grant was used to undertake Shipwright surveys, part of establishing the condition of Unicorn and to facilitate planning work to move the ship 100m along the quayside into the East Graving Dock.

Plans are now in preparation to engage with funders to achieve significant grants to support the ship being moved. Over the next few years, Trustees of the Unicorn Preservation Society anticipate a remarkable transformation of the ship and quayside which will ensure the ship’s long-term survival and the construction of a Maritime Heritage Centre with HMS Unicorn as its core exhibit.

 Eric Fraser, Chair, Programme Board:

"HMS Unicorn A full shipwright survey has now progressed which will support a structural analysis and project execution plan informing how we move the ship, how we prop her in dry dock and protect her as the centrepiece in the proposed maritime museum. Undoubtedly this is the most significant development for the ship since she was built in 1824 and we are delighted to have this valuable support from the Scottish Government to help us progress our plans."

Lady Catherine Erskine, Chair, The Unicorn Preservation Society

"The Society is delighted to have received this grant from the Regional Recovery Fund, granted by the Scottish Government. It has enabled us to accelerate our plans towards securing a sustainable future for the ship. As ‘The Old Lady of Dundee’ prepares to celebrate her 200th birthday in 2024, this funding support is surely the best present she could have wished for."

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