ss Great Britain awarded Arts Council mark of distinction

ss Great Britain in Bristol
Image caption The ss Great Britain has been docked in Bristol since 1970

The historical ss Great Britain in Bristol has been awarded a mark of distinction by the Arts Council.

The ocean liner, which was built by engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and launched in 1843, has been added to a roll call of designated collections.

It is one of four new collections to be added to the 140-strong list.

The Arts Council describes its designations as an accolade which celebrates "unique collections of national and international importance".

'Extraordinary wealth'

Phil Gibby from the Arts Council said the recognition for the ss Great Britain Trust Collection "highlights the extraordinary wealth of the South West's cultural heritage".

Since 1970, the steamship has been docked in Bristol where it was built, after a lifetime which included travelling a million miles at sea and circumnavigating the world 32 times.

Now a visitor attraction, the ship is situated beside the Brunel Institute, which offers the chance to study Victorian maritime technology, the history of 19th Century emigration, and the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Matthew Tanner, chief executive of the ss Great Britain Trust, said: "This is a great and important accolade for the ss Great Britain Trust Collections.

"I am extremely proud to care for a nationally-designated collection and also of the entire team who look after it and ensure it is accessible for everybody, everyday."

Image caption The ss Great Britain has circumnavigated the world 32 times
Image caption The Arts Council accolade recognises the national importance of the collection

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