Sailing for success in Sunderland

A HISTORIC yacht is set to be saved from the scrap heap and sent to Sunderland for restoration this weekend (August 20) after a successful public appeal.

And Sunderland Business Improvement District, set up to revitalise and regenerate commercial areas in the city, has given its backing to the 108-year-old yacht’s restoration – hoping the project will give the young apprentices involved an insight into the city’s shipbuilding past.

The yacht, named Señora, will arrive over the Monkwearmouth Bridge at 11am on Saturday, August 20 before being welcomed in to Sunderland’s Keel Square with a theatre and music event.

The boat, measuring 50 feet in length and 10 tonnes in weight, will then be taken to the former Pallion shipyard, which is the last remaining ship yard on the River Wear.

Eighteen young apprentices from Wearside will then start restoring the boat to its former glory as part of an innovative training project by the Señora Trust and North East based training company, Monumental Training.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive at Sunderland Business Improvement District said he was delighted to see such a historic boat come to Sunderland.

“The arrival of Señora provides a brilliant opportunity for the city’s young apprentices to get on board, quite literally, and work on the yacht to restore it in time for the city’s 2018 Tall Ships Race.

“Once the yacht is complete, it will be moored on Sunderland’s quayside, so that the young apprentices can showcase their finished work to locals and visitors to the city – and prove that the manufacturing skills that once made the city have been passed on to a new generation.

“Sunderland has a proud shipbuilding past and we’re hoping that the arrival of Señora in Keel Square will really be a celebration that the whole city can get involved in.”

The music and theatre event in Keel Square will begin at 10.30am on Saturday, August 20. The Señora yacht will travel over the Monkwearmouth Bridge at 11am, before stopping in Keel Square from 11.05am until 11.45am. Theatre events will take place during the Señora’s stint in Keel Square.

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