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Stricken paddle steamer Waverley set to sail again

More than £2m has been raised to refurbish the iconic boat's boilers.

Paddle Steamer: Government has pledged £1m. <strong>Getty Images</strong>
Paddle Steamer: Government has pledged £1m. Getty Images

A fundraising drive to save the stricken paddle steamer Waverley has reached its £2.3m target in just seven months.

Ongoing issues with its boilers saw the boat taken out of service in May, meaning its annual summer sailings failed to take place for the first time in 45 years.

More than 8000 donors have clubbed together to raise money alongside funding from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, several trusts and £1m from the Scottish Government. The target was reached after cash was donated by Arnold Clark and the Swire Charitable Trust.

Work to repair the boilers is expected to begin next month after the Waverley is towed from Glasgow to Greenock and it should be sailing again by summer 2020.

Its iconic twin funnels will be removed to allow repair teams access to the boiler room.

Waverley Excursions general manager Paul Semple said: “Thanks to the fantastic generosity of so many people and organisations we are now able to push ‘full ahead’ with Waverley’s boiler refit which will be the most substantial refit since her rebuild was completed back in 2003

“I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the appeal and supported our efforts to save the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.”

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