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Heritage: Historic Ships

Volume 704: debated on Friday 10 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have received regarding the future of HMS “Stalker”; and what support they are giving, or plan to give, to its preservation, in the light of it being the last surviving British steam-driven landing ship tank.[HL5274]

The director and secretary to the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships has written to the Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism about the potential demolition of HMS “Stalker”. The Minister has also received a representation from a member of the public on this issue.

The Government established the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships in 2006 to advise the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on preservation and funding priorities for historic vessels. The committee is in discussion with the Maritime Steam Restoration Trust, which is interested in purchasing HMS “Stalker”, and with the Environment Agency, which is one of a number of regulators that performs a regulatory function over some aspects of ship dismantling in England and Wales.

The Government do not provide direct financial support for the acquisition, movement or conservation of historic ships, other than through the provision of grant in aid to those museums that hold vessels of historic significance in their collections that are funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.