The Tall Ship Glenlee has landed £1.8 million in funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) through its Covid-19 Response Fund, successfully keeping the icon of the River Clyde afloat and securing its future for years to come. The funding grant comes as the 126-year-old vessel celebrates 30 years back in Glasgow and will support essential inspections and repairs needed to help ensure the ship remains a landmark of cultural importance for the city for another three decades, and beyond.

The NHMF’s Covid-19 response funding stream was set up to save heritage of outstanding importance to the UK that was at risk due to the impact of coronavirus. Vital checks and repairs to the hull, decks and rigging of the ship are all part of the programme of significant works which will take place over a two-year period, scheduled to be completed in early 2025.

The Tall Ship, which is currently closed to the public, will remain shut until the end of March 2023 for the first phase of repairs, before reopening to the public for the busy summer months. It will close again in early 2024 for a three-month period for more extensive works. This year will see initial work carried out within the cargo hold, around the foremast step at the front of the ship, the poop deck, which is the raised deck to the rear of the vessel, as well as the bowsprit – an extension which juts out from the bow of the ship and forms part
of her iconic silhouette.

The Tall Ship Glenlee will also use the opportunity while closed to carry out a refresh of the chartroom, thanks to additional funding support from Museums Galleries Scotland and The Friends of Glasgow Museums. The chartroom was where navigational and communication equipment was housed to help the ship’s crew to sail safely around the world. The chartroom will be craned off of the ship, then cleaned and varnished with the support of volunteers, while important repairs are carried out on the poop deck.

Next year will see further repairs and updates to the cargo hold the main mast, and mizzen mast, and on the fo’c’sle deck, all of which will make The Tall Ship Glenlee an even better place to visit and learn than ever before.
A raft of specialist contractors, including Dunoon-based organisation Marine Blast, will be brought in to support the work.

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.

“Although there will be spells of closure in the coming years, we are keen to ensure minimum disruption to our loyal visitors and this funding will ensure all of the essential works required can be carried out as soon as possible. We’re also very excited to be working with a host of specialists who we know care about getting The Tall Ship ship-shape as deeply as we do.

“We look forward to seeing the transformation on board over the next two years so The Tall Ship Glenlee can continue inspiring, delighting and educating hundreds of thousands of people for many years to come.”