Saving HMS Alliance -Work Starts

on Friday, 07 October 2011. Posted in Blog

Work starts on £6.5 million project to save HMS Alliance

Saving HMS Alliance -Work Starts

Work started today to save the historic WWII era submarine HMS Alliance based at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire. The £6.5 million pound project is planned to conserve HMS Alliance, the centre-piece of the memorial to 5,300 British submariners who gave their lives for their country in the Service.

Jason Lowe, Saving HMS Alliance Project Manager said, “The first stage of works will involve constructing a permanent hard standing platform underneath Alliance. This will then allow access to conserve the 1940s’ submarine’s outer metal casing which has suffered from severe corrosion and also give visitors a whole new view of this important historic vessel”

Vice Admiral Sir Tim McClement, Chairman of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum said today, “It is really exciting to finally be able start the actual physical work to save HMS Alliance. As the memorial to all the submariners who have fought and died in the submarine service, it is so important that she is conserved and brought to life for future generations to have the opportunity to understand and learn about “the silent service” that has been in operation for over 100 years protecting our nation.”

Councillor Christopher Carter, Mayor of Gosport said, “ HMS Alliance  is listed in the UK’s historic ship’s register, sitting alongside the Cutty Sark, the Mary Rose, and HMS Victory in importance, and she is the only remaining WW II era submarine in the UK that’s open to the public.  Her conservation for the future will continue to have a major impact for heritage and tourism in our area”

HMS Alliance was designed during the WWII for service in the Far East and was launched in 1945, as victory was achieved. She then began a distinguished 28 year career during the Cold War until she retired as the centrepiece of the Submarine Museum.

The project to save HMS Alliance received a £3.4 million lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery fund back in May. Exposed to sea water over cradles by the Museum quayside, the outer structure of HMS Alliance had corroded so badly that parts were literally in danger of falling into the sea below, a rusting process that has proved hard to arrest due to difficulties of access. 

As well as the physical conservation, at the heart of the project is a new education programme and dynamic interpretation scheme which will bring Alliance ‘back to life’ for all visitors. Improvements will include dressing the accommodation spaces to reflect the decades of Alliance’s service from the 1940’s through to the 1970’s with interactive soundscapes that reflect how the submarine looked and felt whilst on operations. The Museum will also be taking the project to the local community with an outreach programme featuring a range of fun and engaging events. It is hoped that volunteers will play an important role in all these activities as the project aims to clock up to 2,500 hours of volunteer time over its life span.

Over £6 million in funds and pledges has now been raised, including the £3.4 million award by the Heritage Lottery Fund. A further £1.5 million is required for a new Alliance gallery.

Fundraising still continues at the Submarine Museum which will remain open to visitors during the renovation work.  For more information on HMS Alliance and how people can get involved contact the HMS Alliance Appeal Office on 023 9251 0354 ext 244, or visit www.submarine-museum.co.uk.

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