Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Jubilee Sailing Trust to decommission tall ship after financial review

Jubilee Sailing Trust tall ship
Image caption Lord Nelson could be used as a visitor attraction to promote the trust

A sailing charity is to decommission one of its two tall ships after being forced to launch an emergency fundraising appeal.

Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) recently raised more than £1m in five days, after warning it could cease activities without the money.

As part of a subsequent review, it announced STS Lord Nelson would cease its sailing programme by October.

The Southampton-based charity said the move would make it "more impactful".

The charity's vessels, STS Lord Nelson and SV Tenacious, were specially designed and fitted to allow people with physical impairments, including wheelchair users, to sail side-by-side with people who do not have disabilities.

Image copyright Jubilee Sailing Trust
Image caption The charity's two ships carry mixed-ability crews

Its 2018 annual report said higher costs and a failure to sell places on voyages while on a trip to Australia and New Zealand meant income was £750,000 less than anticipated.

It also said "ambitious fundraising targets were made and not set", with the trust making a £1.2m deficit.

The "emergency appeal" launched on 27 June reached its £1m target with donations from 3,500 individuals and companies.

In a statement, the charity said its review would put "stronger financial footing", with STS Lord Nelson potentially being used as a visitor attraction to promote the trust.

"A single vessel will also help the JST deliver a much stronger voyage experience by concentrating investment into crew training, professional development, along with ship maintenance, and other elements that improve life on-board," it said.

It added there would also be a "review of our onshore and offshore organisational structures to reduce our core costs". The charity currently employs 51 people.

Image copyright Rossographer
Image caption Tenacious would remain at sea, under the charity's plans

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