PLANS to build a traditional boatbuilding skills centre in an old boathouse will steam ahead after a £3.75m lottery cash boost.
Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust wants to transform Boathouse 4 at the historic dockyard into a boatbuilding and heritage skills training centre.
Now the scheme will go ahead after the Heritage Lottery Fund has added its support with a huge cash grant.
The centre will open its doors to the public and begin training in April 2015, run buy the naval base trust and a new branch of the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC).
Nat Wilson is the chief executive of the IBTC in Portsmouth.
She said: ‘Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, as the centre of the nation’s maritime heritage, is the best location to deliver traditional boatbuilding skills training.
‘We are looking forward to opening our doors in April 2015 and are already receiving enquiries from those wishing to take up our courses.’
Boathouse 4, an iconic building in the dockyard, was built during the massive 1930s rearmament period. It will now be restored and open to the public.
The IBTC and Highbury College will use the centre to deliver training courses in traditional boatbuilding.
Stuart McLeod, the head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the south east, said: ‘This is a great opportunity to provide popular heritage skills training.
‘The project will recreate the industrial past of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s impressive cathedral-sized boathouse which was so crucial for rearmament on the south coast during the Second World War.
‘We are passionate about helping people learn new skills so our great maritime heritage can be enjoyed and maintained for the future.’