• Ayrshire Daily News

North Ayrshire Council Urge Residents to Get Behind the Campaign to Save the Waverley

Residents from across North Ayrshire are being urged to get behind the campaign to help restorethe Waverley.

The historic vessel – the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world – is currently out of service and in need of a refit estimated to cost about £2.3million.

A fundraising campaign is under way to raise the money and it is hoped the refurbishment will be completed to see the Waverley back on the Firth of Clyde in time for Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020.

For decades, the Waverley has been a popular sight on its frequent visits to the North Ayrshire coast, visiting destinations such as Largs, Arran and Cumbrae.

At a meeting of North Ayrshire Council, following a question from Councillor Ellen McMaster, the council acknowledged the importance of the campaign to restore the paddle steamer to its former glory.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “We warmly welcome the fundraising efforts to bring the Waverley back into service.

“It is such an iconic feature in the West of Scotlandand we wish the campaign every success.

“We look forward to seeing the Waverley back ‘doon the watter’ - hopefully as part of the celebrations for the Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020.”

The Scottish Government this month committed £1million to the campaign. Added to the £900,000 already raised, the fundraising total is just £400,000 short of its £2.3m target.

If the target is reached, the funds will cover the cost of two boilers and burner control systems, newelectric generators, electric switch board, removal and installation of all equipment, professional fees, towage, insulation, insurance, berthing dues,technical management, and on-going maintenance and upkeep.

If every passenger who sails on the ship annually were to donate, it is likely the appeal target would be achieved.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Waverley campaign is asked to visit https://www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk/