The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) has pledged a further £50,000 towards the restoration of Paddle Steamer Maid of the Loch to help ensure she returns to service on Loch Lomond.
The PSPS pledge will go towards the match-funding required to release £3∙8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to fully restore the Maid to sailing condition after being laid up for 37 years at Balloch Pier.
Maid of the Loch was withdrawn from service after the 1981 season and has not sailed since. The £5.5 million project to return the steamer to service requires £1.7 million match-funding. However, the project was recently awarded £950,000 from the Scottish government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund in addition to support from Scottish Enterprise, Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER, West Dunbartonshire Council, The Wolfson Trust, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, and a recent public crowdfunding campaign. The PSPS is therefore proud to be able to add further support to the project.
In announcing the £50,000 pledge from PSPS the National Chairman, Paul Semple, said “I am absolutely delighted that the PSPS is able to offer this level of support to help ensure that the Maid of the Loch returns to service. I look forward to joining the historic steamer for a sail on Loch Lomond in the near future and I am sure that a fully restored paddle steamer will become a very popular attraction with locals and visitors alike. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the stunning Scottish scenery along the bonnie banks than from the decks of a Clyde built steam ship. I urge other organisations and individuals to back this project and ensure that future generations can enjoy a great example of 20th century Scottish engineering.”
PSPS has been supportive of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company's (LLSC) aim of returning the Maid to active service for over 20 years and has previously given significant funding. This additional pledge to Paddle Steamer Maid of the Loch cements the long established relationship between the PSPS and the LLSC at a critical point in the journey to restoring the sound of paddle beats on Scotland's most famous loch.
For more information on the Maid of the Loch visit the website by clicking here.