Fund gives berth to heritage project

Catherine Doyle, at North P&I Club, and Gill Lowing, from the Community Foundation, with officials and members of Blyth Tall Ships.
Catherine Doyle, at North P&I Club, and Gill Lowing, from the Community Foundation, with officials and members of Blyth Tall Ships.

A major heritage attraction has found a new home thanks to a grant.

Blyth Tall Ships received £10,000 from leading marine liability insurer the North of England P&I Association (North P&I Club) thanks to its fund at the Community Foundation.

The North 150 Fund donation will help create a berth for Blyth’s community tall ship, which will be a major attraction at the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta from August 26 to 29.

The project also received support from Awards for All to purchase a pontoon.

Catherine Doyle, senior executive (claims) at North P&I Club, said: “Blyth Tall Ships received £10,000 as one of our flagship awards in 2015 to purchase much-needed berthing equipment.

“We’re passionate about the area in which we operate and are delighted to play a part in housing one of this summer’s major attractions.

“As a commitment to our local communities, we can announce that we are putting a further £30,000 into our North 150 Fund at the Community Foundation to support more causes in the North East, and we’d like to encourage other groups to contact the Community Foundation for support.”

Clive Gray, chief executive of Blyth Tall Ships, said: “We’d like to thank North and the Community Foundation for assisting us in housing the 100-year-old ship William II, which we brought over from Denmark. Since 2009, we’ve worked hard to bring the ship to the region and we’re delighted to berth her in the historic Port of Blyth.”

“Following the footsteps of local skipper William Smith, who built and launched his brig ‘Williams’ from a slipway in Blyth 200 years ago.

“We plan to refit and restore William II to her former glory, before recreating his original voyage which resulted in the discovery of part of Antartica.”

Gill Lowing, senior philanthropy advisor at the Community Foundation, added: “As one of the top three members of the International Group of P&I Clubs, North has a long history of success, and we’re delighted to connect them with one of our region’s most exciting maritime charities.

“Blyth Tall Ships is not only a wonderful attraction, but a great asset to the region as an employer. The charity provides a unique opportunity for apprentices to learn heritage and shipbuilding skills that will help them secure employment.“

For more information about how you can apply to the Community foundation visit www.communityfoundation.org.uk.