Gosport submarine reaches visitor milestone

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A SUBMARINE which underwent a £7m restoration project has attracted 100,000 visitors since its reopening.

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, in Gosport, has welcomed 100,000 visitors to the World War 2 submarine HMS Alliance in just seven months.

HMS Alliance re-opened on April 3, following a major £7m conservation and restoration project, £3.4m of which was donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Duke of Cambridge attended a service of re-dedication in May as commodore-in-chief submarines and royal patron of the HMS Alliance Conservation Appeal.

News of breaking the 100,000 mark was warmly welcomed by National Museum of the Royal Navy Director General Professor Dominic Tweddle yesterday.

Mr Tweedle said: ‘We are delighted that, having secured Alliance’s future with an incredibly successful fundraising campaign, so many visitors have jumped at the chance to go onboard and see what life under the waves is really like.’

Alliance was designed during the Second World War for service in the Far East and was launched in 1945.

She then began a 28-year career during the Cold War until she retired and became the centrepiece of the Submarine Museum.

Moored on cradles by the Museum quayside since 1982, the outer structure of HMS Alliance had corroded severely, a process that had proved hard to arrest due to difficulties of access.

The project to restore HMS Alliance has also included a new education and volunteering programme.

More than 100 volunteers from Gosport have contributed by undertaking duties at special fundraising events, helping conserve the submarine and working behind the scenes in the archives.