Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

MP presses Executive to save HMS Caroline

First World War light cruiser HMS Caroline is docked in Belfast

Nigel Dodds is continuing to press for Government support to keep HMS Caroline in Belfast as the fate of the historic First World War vessel hangs in the balance.

The Belfast Telegraph is backing a campaign to save the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, currently moored at Alexandra Dock in the city.

North Belfast MP Mr Dodds said the ship is “suitably placed within the Titanic Quarter” and will “significantly enhance” the province’s tourism package.

But the ship’s future is under threat.

The Ministry of Defence has said that if no-one takes on responsibility for the vessel before August 1, it could be scrapped. Earlier this month, the National Museum of the Royal Navy warned it would take the vessel to England if the Stormont Executive did not step up to the mark and provide support.

Mr Dodds, who attended the launch of the Friends of HMS Caroline group on June 29, said: “We are continuing to press for governmental support ... to bring about the right outcome.”

Estimates have suggested it could take around £5m to restore Caroline to her former glory, with around £250,000 required annually for maintenance.

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