Historic craft set for saving in Portsmouth with £2.4m funding

Foxtrot 8, a landing craft formerly aboard HMS Fearless which took part in the Falklands conflict, will be restored
Foxtrot 8, a landing craft formerly aboard HMS Fearless which took part in the Falklands conflict, will be restored
The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

New captain vows to make base greener

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CRAFT that played a crucial role in defending the nation will be saved with £2.4m funding from banking fines, it has been announced today.

The Memorial Fleet will be run by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust with funds from Libor fines.

The Second World War Motor Gun Boat (MGB) 81 will receive new engines. Picture: Simon Jenkins

The Second World War Motor Gun Boat (MGB) 81 will receive new engines. Picture: Simon Jenkins

Veterans will take part in building and restoring of boats, as part of a project with the Company of Makers, a charity.

The trust will work with Boat International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) Portsmouth, Highbury College and the Trust’s Boathouse 4 volunteers.

Peter Goodship, consultant chief executive of the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust said: ‘The creation of this operational fleet commemorating the role these pioneering craft played in both World Wars will provide a fitting tribute to the veterans who crewed them and a reminder to us all of the heroism these crews displayed in the defence of our nation.

‘The Fleet will also create a new attraction within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, enabling visitors to access the water in a way not presently possible.’

Armed Steam Cutter 26 awaiting restoration in Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Armed Steam Cutter 26 awaiting restoration in Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Caroline Barrie Smith, business and finance director of IBTC Portsmouth added: ‘We are particularly excited to offer service veteran men and women the opportunity to train on the types of craft that they, and their predecessors, may have served on.’

A new jetty will be built to home the fleet.

Craft set to be restored include:

n The First World War Armed Steam Cutter, Falmouth, which served in the Battle of Jutland in 1916

nFoxtrot 8, a landing craft formerly aboard HMS Fearless which took part in the Falklands conflict, will be restored.

n The Second World War Motor Gun Boat (MGB) 81 will receive new engines.

n The Trust will construct a replica of Coastal Motor Boat (CMB) 4 which, under the command of Lt Augustus Agar, sank the Bolshevik cruiser Oleg in 1919.