South Westto receive a £9 million boost for museums, libraries and cultural venues By Tanya Waterworth 21MAR2023BristoLive

The SS Great Britain is one of Bristol’s most famous and popular visitor attractions.


Bristol tourist attraction the SS Great Britain is toget a funding boost of over

£700,000 for urgent repairs. The cash injection was announced by the

Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part a £60 million fundingboost

across the UK.

The cash will fund work on the weatherdeck, the primary access point for

visitors. The SS GreatBritain said in a statement on social media: “The SS

GreatBritain Trust is extremely grateful to the DCM Sand Arts Council England 

for essential funding towards replacing the weatherdeck.

“The vital work will help conserve the world’s first great ocean liner which the

charitable trustcares for on behalf of the nation, protecting the interior iron work.

It will improve accessibility, particularly for mobility and sight impaired visitors

and communities, as theTrust continues its conservation, STEM education and

community engagement programmes.”

PhilGibby, SouthWest are a director for the Arts Council said: “It’s fantasticto

see so many of our treasured regional museums and local library services

announced as recipients in this latest round of Cultural Investment funding from

the government.

“At theArts Council, we believe in the power of creative and cultural

experiences and we are passionate about more people having access to a

range of excellent arts, culture and creativity right on their doorstep- sowe’re

delighted that these museums, libraries and venues are helping us to make that


When the SS GreatBritain was launched in1843, she was called ‘the greatest

experiment since thecreation’. She was fitted with a 1000HP steam engine, the

most powerful at that  time to be used at sea and instead of paddle-wheel, she

had a screwpropeller. This was cutting edge maritime technology andt he

combination of the two changed the shipping industry.

In 1886, the ship was badly damaged during a wild storm off CapeHornand

was forced toseek shelter in the Falkland Islands, the first port ofrefuge. The

cost of repairs was exorbitant and the vess el was sold to the Falklands Island

Company. After a long workinglife, the ship’sworking life ended in 1933. She

was abandoned and left torust, but in 1970 was refloated by an expert salvage

team andb roughtback to Bristol on a huge floating pontoon pulled by tugs.