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£9,500 TDC Community Grant to help historic ship's Bridge Restoration

SS Freshspring

Torridge Councils Community Grant scheme found another worthy recipient when a cheque for £9,500 was handed over to the society restoring the SS Freshspring berthed on the River Torridge in Bideford.

The Freshspring was built in 1946 as a water-carrier for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service and operated in this role for over 30 years. The ship which is listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels is currently undergoing restoration by an army of volunteers with plans for it to be open to the public in 2018. The Steamship Freshspring Society is the charity behind the project to preserve and operate the ship and their wider goal is to promote maritime studies and engineering education, particularly among young people.

Chairman of the Society John Puddy said:

"From our perspective the £9,500 grant is not only a welcome contribution towards the next phases of the project but has also been instrumental in supporting other applications including Heritage Lottery. With this valuable Support from Torridge, we are now in a position to restore the ships bridge and we're very grateful for this commitment"

Bideford Councillor Dermot McGeough said:

"Its great that we've been able to assist another worthwhile community project in Torridge and we look forward to seeing the SS Freshspring launching to the public in 2018. In the meantime I hope that their work will continue to inspire people to learn more about Maritime Engineering and for people to get involved in bringing the ship back to life."

17 October 2017