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|£1 MILLION LIFELINE SAVES CAROLINE|
|Tuesday, 29 January 2013 00:00|
HMS Caroline, one of the most historically significant war ships in the world whose future was threatened through deterioration and neglect, is to be secured thanks to £1 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
This vital grant, awarded to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, will now enable urgent repair works that will prevent further decay to the Belfast-based light cruiser whilst plans are finalised for its long-term future in the city.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the NMRN, says: “HMS Caroline is the only remaining floating survivor of World War One. NMRN is thrilled that the funding is now in place to secure it and prevent any further deterioration.”
The funding marks the beginning of a two-stage rescue plan, with the second half driven by an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Northern Ireland’s Minister for the Economy, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster says: “Our ultimate aim is to transform the ship into a world-class floating museum in time for the Battle of Jutland centenary in 2016.”
Built in Merseyside in 1914, HMS Caroline is the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, the First World War’s longest, most strategically important sea battle. During World War II, HMS Caroline was a key base for operations to protect the North Atlantic convoys from U-boat attacks. In 1945 she returned to her role as a static drill ship in Belfast until decommissioned in 2011, making her the longest ship in commission in the British Navy after HMS Victory.