Waverley fund gathers steam

£1 million announced for historic vessel.

The last sea-going paddle steamer in the world will receive £1 million of Scottish Government funding to help it sail again, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced.

The Waverley Paddle Steamer has been in operation for over 70 years, transporting millions of passengers to a variety of locations throughout the UK but is currently out-of-service and urgently requires new boilers.

Scottish Government funding will go towards replacing the twin boilers as well as other necessary maintenance and upkeep such as replacing the main electrical switch board, new cabling and installing new generators.

Ms Hyslop said: “The Waverley has delighted generations of locals and visitors throughout its 70-year history and I am pleased to be able to announce this significant financial commitment to help the historic paddle steamer set sail once again.

“In 2020 Scotland’s coasts and waters will be celebrated with a programme of activity designed to inspire more people than ever before to explore and experience our unrivalled shores. I look forward to seeing the Waverley, such a key part of our maritime and cultural history, back in service and able to play a central part in that celebration.”

General Manager of Waverley Excursions Paul Semple said: “The trustees are delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised the Waverley’s importance to Scotland’s heritage and tourism with this generous grant towards our Boiler Refit Appeal.

“Taken together with the donations received from thousands of individuals across the UK it brings our appeal total to £1.9 million but more funding is required to reach our £2.3 million target to Save the Waverley.

“The continued support we are receiving is extremely heartening and we would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated so far, we now hope that the corporate sector and grant-giving bodies will join the Government in supporting the Waverley to return to service next summer.”


The Waverley Paddle Steamer undertook its maiden voyage in 1947 and is registered as part of the National Historic Fleet as being a vessel of pre-eminent national significance.

A commitment to support the repairs was originally included in the Programme for Government as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 although no funding commitment was announced at that time. 

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