New home and museum planned for HMS Unicorn in Dundee

New home and museum planned for HMS Unicorn in Dundee

Dundee’s HMS Unicorn could be moved to the East Graving Dock and become the centrepiece of a new Dundee Maritime Heritage Centre under a £26 million plan to secure the future of the historic ship.

Images released by the Unicorn Preservation Society & LDN Architects show what the venue might look like by 2030 should a multi-million investment be secured.

At a meeting of stakeholders held on Tuesday night, museum director Matthew Bellhouse Moran outlined details of their ambitious ‘Project Safe Haven’ plan.

Speaking at the event, Mr Bellhouse Moran said: “It’s now or never for Unicorn. The next five to ten years are absolutely critical because (the ship’s faults) are getting worse and they cannot be answered without dry-docking.

“We need to do three things: We need a functional dock, a revenue-generating museum, and we need to safeguard the future of the ship through conservation.

“These images show Unicorn in the graving dock and covered over to prevent rainwater because this is what causes the rot.

“And taking the museum out of the ship gives us café, retail and hire space and it all goes towards making this a sustainable project.”

New home and museum planned for HMS Unicorn in Dundee

It’s hoped that around 50% of the estimated £26m price tag of Project Safe Haven will be funded through a bid to the National Lottery, as well as cash from the Tay Cities Deal.

This leaves around £13m in funding still to raise, which bosses at HMS Unicorn are optimistic about achieving.

“I’m not going to lie, it will be expensive”, Mr Bellhouse Moran told The Courier.

“We have submitted a prospective bid to the National Lottery Heritage fund, which is a culmination of four years’ work.

“It comes to about two-and-a-half thousand sides of A4 and it represents all of the work we have been doing behind the scenes.

“We’re not naïve and we know the lottery is not guaranteed but what this represents is a plan.

“There are actions, routes forwards and things we can now do to go ahead and ask for support.”

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