Work has begun to create a new permanent home on Hull Marina for the iconic Spurn Lightship.
Hull-based engineering company Spencer Group is delivering the works, which include dredging of the berthing area and the installation of five mooring piles, as well as a steel walkway to allow access onto the lightship once it has been moved into place at its new berth close to Holiday Inn. Most of the work will be carried out from floating pontoons.
The lightship has been closed since 2018 and will reopen in its new home in the north-west corner of the marina, close to the Murdoch’s Connection footbridge, in the spring.
Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “Starting work on the new permanent berth for the Spurn Lightship is the final chapter in the restoration programme for the lightship.
“This is an exciting time as preparations are well underway to re-open the much-loved attraction to visitors later in the year, which will once again allow everyone to explore it following its restoration.
“With increased access and more to see, visitors will learn more about the lightship and what it was like to work on the vessel, navigating ships safely from the Humber.”
The Spurn Lightship moved to a temporary berth on Hull Marina following a major restoration.
Richard Green-Morgan, Off-Site Construction Director for Spencer Group, said: “We’re really excited to have started work on this important project in our home city, which will help raise awareness of Hull’s fantastic history.
“The Spurn Lightship is a truly iconic vessel and an important part of the city’s maritime heritage, so we’re incredibly proud to be playing our part in making it accessible to the public when it’s in its new permanent home.
“We’re on track to complete the project in time for the lightship to be moved from its current temporary location on the marina to the new berth later in the spring.”
To enable these works to take place, National Highways, which is carrying out major improvements to the A63 at Castle Street, awarded Hull City Council £1,044,725 through its Designated Funds programme. This money is allocated to four funding streams focused on making improvements that will make the biggest difference and deliver lasting benefits, including environment and wellbeing
National Highways Assistant Project Manager, Rebecca Wathen, said: “It’s a very proud moment for us to see the works commence on the new home for this icon, which embraces the city’s maritime heritage, next to the landmark Murdoch’s Connection footbridge.
“It’s really important to us that we continue to support projects such as Spurn Lightship through our Designated Funds programme, which we aim to bring lasting benefits to communities.”
It is expected the Spurn Lightship will open to visitors in spring 2024.
The restoration of the Spurn Lightship is part of Hull Maritime. Other elements of the project include the refurbishment of the Grade II* Hull Maritime Museum and the Dock Office Chambers, the creation of a new visitor attraction at the North End Shipyard which will become the new home of the Arctic Corsair.