£50m grants to restore Nelson flagship
Having retired from active service some 120 years ago, the flagship of Lord Nelson’s fleet, HMS Victory, has faced an uncertain future with rocketing maintenance costs the biggest issue. In 2011 the owner, the Ministry of Defence, agreed to a £16 million contract with BAE Systems to restore her but a lack of funds saw the ship given over to the National Navy Museum to safeguard its future.
The museum set up the HMS Victory Preservation Trust, with an initial public grant of £25 million made. This has now been matched by the Ministry of Defence, the total £50 million fund ensuring the protection and maintenance of HMS Victory and halting plans for the great ship to be turned into an events venue.
Vice admiral Charles Montgomery CBE, said, “HMS Victory has been at the heart of the Royal Navy for centuries and is symbolic of the fighting ethos and values of the service.
“I am absolutely delighted with this initiative. It will significantly enhance the way in which she can be persevered for the benefit of the nation and future generations.”
Accepting the donation, Sir Donald Gosling said, “HMS Victory is a national icon and I feel privileged that the Golding Foundation is part of this project to ensure its future for the Royal Navy and for the nation.”
Built in 1759, Victory will remain at the dry dock in Portsmouth.