National Historic Ships UK has announced its seventh flagship awards including two regional awards:
- MV Balmoral for an outstanding and extensive UK programme. The recently-formed MV Balmoral Fund Ltd submitted an extensive and very well presented public UK–wide coastal cruising programme ranging from Scotland, through North Wales and the Bristol Channel and the South coast, round to London
Regional flagship awards have been made to:
- the shortboat Kennet, in recognition of an intensive programme of visits within the Shipshape Mersey Network, focusing on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. In view of the exemplary quality of this application, the judges decided to make an exceptional award of £350
- the sailing smack Excelsior, in recognition of her 2016 Shipshape East Anglia programme, which extends across the North Sea and the South coast of England, and even Newfoundland
The new regional awards are intended to be a recognition that not all vessels have the capacity to sail around the UK and abroad, but may still be undertaking a worthwhile programme of public events and raising awareness of historic vessels and our maritime heritage.
The criteria still require vessel owners to demonstrate seasonal programmes that engage with the public through festivals, demonstrations, offering on-board cruises, quayside visits, educational programmes, participation in races and similar activities, and flagships are expected to promote National Historic Ships UK.
The National Flagship of the Year receives £500 to spend on the vessel, and the special Flagship Broad Pennant (which has become a feature of the award) to fly at the masthead. The Regional Flagships normally receive £250 to be spent on the vessel, along with a Regional Flagship Broad Pennant.
National Historic Ships UK advises the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and a range of grant giving organisations on priorities for ship conservation and is the official voice for historic vessels in the UK. It maintains the National Register of Historic Vessels, which lists over a thousand significant historic vessels.