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£1m appeal launched to secure future of Nelson-era frigate for her 200th birthday

£1m appeal launched to secure future of Nelson-era frigate
5 April 2016
Naval historians are looking to raise £1m to help secure the long-term future of Britain’s second oldest warship in time for her 200th birthday next year.

HMS Trincomalee served for nearly 80 years under the White Ensign before acting as a training ship for seafarers for a further nine decades as the Foudroyant before finally retiring in 1986.

She eventually found a new home in Hartlepool where she was restored over a period of a dozen years and opened as a museum ship; renamed Trincomalee, she’s the town’s No.1 tourist attraction, bringing in around 45,000 visitors a year.

At present, the 38-gun vessel is the world’s oldest warship afloat (the USS Constitution is 20 years older, but currently in refit in dry dock). 

She’s one of only two Nelson-era frigates still in existence (HMS Unicorn in Dundee is the other, but she was never rigged or saw active service).

This is a landmark anniversary of international importance and one that we’re really excited about. HMS Trincomalee is one of the world’s most historically significant ships

David McKnight, the ship’s general manager

It costs the trust which maintains and runs the ship around £300,000 a year, funded by a combination of ticket sales, corporate hospitality, weddings, filming and fundraising.

It’s looking to build up a reserve of funds to make looking after the historic vessel and provide the team with “a safety blanket” to deal with any unexpected repairs.

With the 200th anniversary of her launch in October 1817 looming, the trust is launching a fundraising appeal to put finances on a firmer footing.

“This is a landmark anniversary of international importance and one that we’re really excited about. HMS Trincomalee is one of the world’s most historically significant ships,” said David McKnight, the ship’s general manager.

“We want her to still be floating in another 200 years, so she can be enjoyed by future generations.

“We hope that the appeal will raise much-needed funds and awareness of an important piece of maritime history. We want people from around the country and across the globe to visit the ship.

“To support the appeal, a fundraising co-coordinator will be appointed with a remit to work with business and the community to raise as much money as possible.”

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