Full Steam Ahead for Maid of the Loch with New Funding
The Wolfson Foundation and The Swire Charitable Trust have pushed the boat out with sizable donations to boost the restoration campaign for Loch Lomond’s famous paddle steamer, Maid of the Loch.
The Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education, the arts and humanities, has awarded the heritage attraction £40,000 with The Swire Charitable Trust donating £20,000 under its new heritage grant programme.
This flood of funding brings the Maid’s regeneration campaign closer to its £5.5m goal and builds on contributions from The Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), Scottish Enterprise, Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER, West Dunbartonshire Council, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, as well as a recent public crowdfunding campaign. The latest donations also mean that the campaign is even closer to reaching the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) donation match-funding target of £3.8m.
Currently moored at Balloch Pier, the Clyde-built ship is a static tourist attraction with a tea room and a host of children’s activities. A group of dedicated volunteers of charity the Loch Lomond Steamship Company have worked tirelessly since 1996 to transform and restore the ship, with the aim of bringing her ‘back to life’ and being fully operational once again.
John Beveridge, Chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company said: “The donations from The Wolfson Foundation and The Swire Charitable Trust have helped put even more wind in the sails of our regeneration project and takes us two steps closer to meeting our fundraising goal. We are most grateful, and look forward, with confidence, to the Maid’s first sail.”
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said, “The Wolfson Foundation is delighted to be involved in funding the restoration of this wonderful, historic paddle steamer. This is an important piece of Scottish heritage in a strikingly beautiful setting and it is thrilling to think that the steamer will soon be journeying up and down the loch. We are particularly pleased to be increasing our funding in rural areas of Scotland – a reminder to us (and to all funders) of the importance of funding beyond towns and cities.”
Donations to return the Maid back to sail can be made through their dedicated website, www.maidoftheloch.org/donate, with the aim of offering cruises from Easter to October, and being open for events and function hire the rest of the year.