Bidding for HMS Ark Royal has been extended

HMS Ark Royal
HMS Ark Royal
Detail from an exact replica of Lord Nelson's diamond Chelengk jewels. Picture:Andrew Matthews/Press Association

Replica of Nelson’s stolen jewel on display

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THE deadline for the sale of the Royal Navy’s former flagship HMS Ark Royal has been extended because of the amount of interest from potential buyers, the Ministry of Defence said.

Bidders for the aircraft carrier, which has been advertised on the MoD auction website edisposals.com since March, originally had until yesterday to submit their tenders.

But the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) agency, which is responsible for equipping the country’s armed forces, has now extended the deadline until July 6.

A spokesman said: ‘The tender closing date has been extended owing to the amount of interest in the ship from potential buyers.’

Although the Ark Royal, which is currently at Portsmouth Naval Base, could be sold for scrap metal, other proposals for her include a commercial heliport in London, a tourist attraction in Gibraltar, or a nightclub and school in China.

Other reported plans for the ship include a casino in Hong Kong or to sink her as a wreck for scuba divers off the coast of Devon.