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What does future hold for HMS Unicorn? Hundreds have say on Dundee ship

The future of HMS Unicorn is up for discussion.
The future of HMS Unicorn is up for discussion.

Hundreds of people have had their say on the future of one of Dundee’s most iconic landmarks.

A major new consultation is asking locals for ideas on developing HMS Unicorn, one of the oldest ships of its kind in the world.

It comes as those who help to look after the attraction are considering how to preserve it for future generations.

Within eight hours of the launch of the consultation, 700 people had offered their views, with ideas like the addition of a learning centre and a cafe put forward.

Over a thousand people in total have shared their response.

‘The people of Dundee love her’

Matthew Moran, manager of HMS Unicorn, says the response so far reflects the affection Dundonians have for the City Quay ship.

He said: “She’s been here 150 years, her home is Dundee, the people of Dundee love her and have a lot to say about her future.

“We have asked people to fill out the survey with what they want to see in a museum, their thoughts on the ship, all positive and negative.

The ship is an iconic landmark at City Quay.

“We need to be able to go to the funding bodies with this feedback and ensure the museum’s future.

“We want to actually build something that will last for years.

“The results of the community survey might put us in a direction we couldn’t see as possible before.”

We are a part of Dundee and people do have quite a lot of love for us”

Staff member Caroline Taylor says the response so far has been “fantastic”.

She said: “It’s nice because we are a part of Dundee and people do have quite a lot of love for us.

“They’re keen to let their feelings be known to us

“It’s nice to see what people actually want out of the Unicorn.”

Some areas on board HMS Unicorn have already been refurbished.

It comes as the ship has enjoyed the return of tourists as Covid restrictions have eased.

Caroline added: “We have lots of stuff for families.

“We actually had a big boost at the beginning of the year with Days Out Visit Scotland Incentive Scheme and now, with the Easter holidays, it’s been fantastic.”

Plans to protect ship for future

Among the plans already being considered is the construction of a protective structure around the ship, to keep her preserved.

It is also hoped HMS Unicorn can be moved a few metres away to a dry dock at East Graving Dock.

East Graving Dock could become HMS Unicorn’s new home.

How can I have my say?

Locals can take part in a survey on the ship’s future on the HMS Unicorn website.

Visitors can also put forward their views in paper form at the ship.

Have you a memory of HMS Unicorn as good as the boy who found a ‘hidden’ door?

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