|The HMS President, one of the UK’s last remaining WWI ships, has been unsuccessful in its bid to secure Libor funding in today’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor.|
The funding bid that had seen support in national newspapers and a parliamentary motion, with more than 20 signatories, has failed to secure vital restoration funding – this could now see the country’s last remaining submarine hunter of the Atlantic campaign scrapped.
Paul Williams, Director of the HMS President Preservation Trust, said; “The lack of recognition for this worthy cause if hugely disappointing. The HMS President Preservation Trust, and our friends in Parliament and elsewhere, have been working extremely hard to secure the future of this wonderful war heritage site.
“Her hull is only a few millimetres thick now in some places. Therefore, if restoration funding is not found soon she will be consigned to the scrap heap – as her sister ship the HMS Chrysanthemum was in 1995. As we mark the centenary commemorations of WWI it seems an absolute travesty that we will potentially be saying goodbye to one of only three remaining warships from that era. What a loss to our heritage that will be.”
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph MPs and Peers, including the Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce, and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, Dr Julian Lewis MP, had called for the ship to be rescued. The parliamentarians had urged the Chancellor to look favourably on the bid, or risk losing her forever, stating “This would be an irreplaceable loss to our war heritage, and a sorry way to mark the country’s First World War centenary commemorations.”
CEO, Chairman and Director