Dundee’s famous Unicorn is undergoing a £45,000 refurbishment in preparation for becoming a community hub at the centre of the new waterfront development.
The historic warship has become weather-beaten and has suffered some damage as a result of her age – at nearly 200 years old, she’s a “very old lady.”
Restoration work has already started after the Unicorn Preservation Society was granted £44,993 from the SITA Trust, an independent funding body.
Some of the money will go towards upgrading the roof, repairing damage to the side of the ship and improving the facilities inside it.
Mike Clark, chair of the Unicorn Preservation Society said: ”We are delighted to receive this substantial grant from SITA Trust.
“It will go a long way to ensuring a future for this historic ship.
“She will become the centre piece of the regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront at City Quay”.
Susan Curran, a manager on board the Unicorn, explained that the repair works were expected to be completed before the winter starts.
She said: “At the moment, the outside of the ship isn’t protected.
“It has deteriorated and there are some wooden boards missing at the side.
“The hull in particular is beginning to deteriorate and the grant will go towards fixing it.
“There is a roof over most of the ship, but not at the front where the figure of the unicorn is, so the roof will be extended to cover the length of the ship.
“This will mean that the rainfall will come off it and won’t damage the ship as much.
“There will also be large-scale upgrades in 2016 to make the ship more accessible and improve its facilities.
“We are very much in the centre of the Waterfront and in the next few years we’ll be used a lot more as a community hub for meetings, events and a variety of activities.”
The SITA Trust provides grants through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, a scheme linked to the Scottish landfill tax that encourages landfill operators to provide contributions to community and environmental projects.
SITA’s Marianne Ivin sad: “This project really stood out form the crowd with its fantastic history and original community venue status.
“We are really excited to be able to fund the restoration works on such an iconic ship and look forward to seeing how things progress with its future.”