A 64-year-old motor boat is set to return to operation thanks to a donation by a newspaper group.

A 64-year-old motorboat is set to return to operation thanks to a donation by the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the Newsquest Media Group. The donation will enable the British Military Powerboat Trust (BMPT) to buy a new engine for its 25ft Fast Motor Boat ‘Ark Royal’ which was acquired from the National Motor Boat Museum in 2002.

Once work has been completed, the boat will be returned to use in making the Solent and Southampton water more accessible to schools and charities. The boat, officially known as Admiralty No 43957, saw action during the latter part of World War II while being carried aboard a cruiser, and later spent 12 years as the captain’s barge aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal.

“We would like to say a big thank you for this grant,” said BMPT director Richard Hellyer, “it is an absolute lifesaver and has really saved our bacon.”