Portsmouth boat restoration charity gets £500,000 grant

AWARD Left to right: Brian Taylor, project leader of the resoration of the Junk Yacht Boleh, with apprentice boat bulders Sam Perks, 20, and Henry Durman, 17.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves
AWARD Left to right: Brian Taylor, project leader of the resoration of the Junk Yacht Boleh, with apprentice boat bulders Sam Perks, 20, and Henry Durman, 17. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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A PORTSMOUTH charity working on restoring an historic boat has been given a funding boost of more than £500,000.

The Boleh Trust, in Henderson Road, Eastney, has received £501,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The trust helps young people restore a historic junk yacht called Boleh.

The money awarded today will go towards restoring the boat and establishing an apprentice training programme.

With this funding, apprentices from Highbury College will be able to learn heritage skills and make Boleh fit to sail again, while gaining credits towards their professional shipwright qualifications.

Once restored, Boleh will be used to help young people a chance to experience sailing the vessel and build confidence, leadership and team working skills.

George Middleton, chairman of the Boleh Trust, said: ‘We are over the moon because we have been working really hard with the HLF.

‘We will be able to do fantastic restoration work with young people and this project is sensational.’

Boleh, is a 40ft wooden junk yacht and was built after the Second World War in Singapore by a Naval Officer, Commander Robin Kilroy, DSC, who then sailed her back to England.