£5m bid for HMS Invincible to go to China

Letter of the day

A HONG Kong businessman has launched an audacious bid to turn HMS Invincible in to a floating school, tourist attraction and nightclub in China.

Birmingham-based Kin Bong Lam, who owns seven restaurants in the West Midlands, yesterday revealed he has offered the Ministry of Defence 5m to take the axed Portsmouth-based aircraft carrier to the Far East.

The 48-year-old, who also runs import and export, yachting and property investment businesses in China, made the offer before bidding closed on the MoD's eBay-style sales website on Wednesday.

Mr Lam said: 'I believe I will be successful in my bid.

'The Invincible will be a great commercial asset for me because of my business in China.

'My first option is to purchase the vessel for educational use - to make it in to an international college. But I am also exploring whether it could be used as a tourist attraction or a nightclub.'

Invincible, which has been gutted by the MoD, will cost 1m to tow to China, Mr Lam said.

He stressed that his intention was 'purely commercial' and said he had nothing to do with the Chinese military.

Mr Lam, who refused to disclose his personal wealth, said he would take the ship to Liverpool to be used as an English language school if the MoD did not want to let Invincible leave Britain.

And he said his latest business venture has received support from the Chinese Embassy in London.

Other firms, including scrap merchants Leavesley International, have also made offers for Invincible, which experts say is worth around 2m in scrap steel.

The MoD is due to announce the winning bid in February.