First World War light cruiser HMS Caroline is to reopen from March this year after nearly three years.
The sole survivor from the Battle of Jutland, the Belfast-based ship’s future has been secured following a new operating agreement.
The ship will reopen with a fanfare in time for the Easter holidays, although a handful of lucky visitors will have the chance to preview the ship during special weekend-only openings in March.
The ship, which was fully restored and opened to the public on May 31 2016, has received £14,240,000 support from National Heritage Lottery Fund and £4,518.000 from Tourism NI.
A team of specialist staff has remained onboard caring for the unique 4,000-tonne, 122-metre long light cruiser and she is in remarkably good condition having being closed for nearly three years.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy said: “The announcement that, after a three-year hiatus, we are able to reopen HMS Caroline with her long-term future secured is monumental for the museum.
“Her story and place in Belfast’s maritime history is so important and the strides we were making in offering a world-class welcome were justly acknowledged with her shortlisting as Museum of the Year. With the superb team we have onboard, we cannot wait to welcome visitors back and ensure that HMS Caroline is a key part of the tourism and cultural offer in Belfast for many years to come.”
HMS Caroline is moored in Belfast’s Alexandra Dock beside the Science Park in Titanic Quarter and is also part of the Maritime Mile, which stretches from Corporation Street to Donegall Quay, and on to HMS Caroline.
For more information about the ship and to buy tickets, visit www.hmscaroline.co.uk