The future of an historic ship which played a key role in Hull’s maritime past has been buoyed by a multi-million-pound joint investment from National Highways.
National Highways, who are carrying out major improvements to the A63 at Castle Street, is contributing just over £1m to Hull’s maritime regeneration project which will see the Spurn Lightship moved to its permanent home at Hull Marina.
The vessel, to be eventually berthed next to the recently built Murdoch’s Connection footbridge, will see her fully rejuvenated with improved accessibility and signage, thanks to Hull City Council (HCC), the National Lottery Heritage Fund(NLHF) and the government-owned business’ Designated Funds programme.
She is expected to open as a key visitor attraction in spring 2023.
James Leeming, Senior Project Manager for the A63 Castle Street and Murdoch’s Connection at National Highways, said: “Spurn Lightship was temporarily moved while we built our state-of-the-art Murdoch’s Connection footbridge, which is close to Hull Marina where she will eventually reside permanently.
“Through strong partnership working, we will ultimately see a vital piece of the city’s 20th century past alongside our A63 Castle Street major work and enhancements to the waterfront which will be fit for the 21st century and accessible for all.”
The lightship, which played a key role in Hull’s maritime industries by guiding vessels through one of the world’s treacherous waterways, the Humber estuary, is now temporarily berthed at William Wright Dock and will now undergo a programme of restoration.
Built in 1927, the ship was moored off Spurn in East Riding of Yorkshire and helped vessels to navigate the approach to the estuary – a welcome and thankful sight for sailors and fishermen after long and tiring trips at sea.
Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this significant funding from National Highways.
“This investment will enable the Hull Maritime project to enhance the Spurn Lightship’s new home on Hull Marina with landscaping and increased access. These features will improve the experience for all our visitors when the lightship reopens in 2023.”
National Highways, formerly Highways England, manages four designated funds, allocated by the Government, to deliver benefits above and beyond building, maintaining and operating England’s strategic roads.
From protecting the environment and enhancing the landscape around roads, to improving safety, reducing congestion, and supporting communities, the aim is to make a positive difference to people’s lives.