£50k lottery grant for Brixham sailing foundation
A CHARITY which manages heritage trawlers is launching a new 14-month conservation project thanks to a £50,000 boost.
The Trinity Sailing Foundation received the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to go towards the £92,000 conservation project.
The work would see the historic Brixham trawler Provident restored and a series of education and promotion activities to raise awareness and help people learn more about the port's rich maritime history.
The project team at Trinity, local shipwrights and volunteers will now start work to the keel, deck and internal wooden structure of the Provident to conserve the important vessel.
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She is a gaff ketch, 70ft long on deck and carrying around 3,000 sq ft of sail and is one of medium-sized 'mule' class of sailing trawlers.
Provident was one of the last trawlers to be built working under sail and was a replacement for an earlier vessel of the same name, sunk during the First World War by a German U-boat.
She is one of the last few surviving Brixham sailing trawlers and is included in the National Historic Fleet, a collection of vessels which are considered to be of pre-eminent regional and national significance.
Struan Coupar, trustee of the Trinity Sailing Foundation, said Trinity would be running an education 'outreach programme' for hundreds of school children from Devon so they can be taught about their maritime heritage through the development of boat design and construction during the Napoleonic, Victorian and more modern eras.
He said: "Provident has a fascinating past, starting life as a sailing trawler before being converted in the 1930s into a sailing yacht.
"In 1951, she was bought by the Island Cruising Club and operated out of Salcombe before returning to Brixham in 1999 where, alongside the historic sailing vessels Leader and Golden Vanity, she formed the Trinity of our charity.
"The funding will allow Trinity to build on the work carried out during the recent Leader Project which has laid the foundations for us to go out into schools and the wider community and spread the message about why our maritime heritage is so important."
Working alongside Brixham Museum, Brixham Library and Brixham Harbour Authority, Trinity will put up exhibitions and a permanent display to chart the town's development as a major fishing port and promote its historic trawler fleet to the many thousands of visitors Brixham receives each year.
Provident is a former Brixham sailing trawler, built in 1924 at Galmpton on the River Dart.
Now fitted out for her modern role, Provident spends around 30 weeks each year providing sail training experiences for young people and sailing holidays and courses for the general public.