Naval museum thrown lifeline with Government funding

The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been saved from the “verge of insolvency” thanks to emergency funding from the Government.

The museum, which has sites in Portsmouth, Gosport, Belfast, Hartlepool and Yeovilton, was left with a shortfall of £6.35 million after having to shut its doors because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

HMS Victory
Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (NMRN/PA)

The lifeline means that the museum will be announcing opening dates for its centres apart from HMS Caroline in Belfast which will not reopen this year.

Dominic Tweddle, director general for the NMRN said: “I cannot express the relief we all felt when we were told that additional funding would be made available to us.

“It has been incredibly difficult over the last weeks and months with so much uncertainty around the future of the museum.

“We are incredibly grateful to HM Treasury, MoD (Ministry of Defence) and the Royal Navy for all of their support and also to all of those who have advocated on our behalf.

“We are still liaising with the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland to see if we can come to an agreement which will also offer HMS Caroline a more certain future.”

The NMRN, which self-generates 81% of its funding, has received support from the government to support its position for the rest of the financial year.

Mr Tweddle said: “We are realistic that whilst this money is welcome, difficult decisions will still need to be made to ensure that we will still be here next year and the year after.”

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