Group wants £3m to restore Liverpool-to-Llandudno ferry

By Rob Thomas
BBC Wales News


A ferry between Llandudno to Liverpool could be restarted by the summer of 2021 as a group of enthusiasts hope to reopen the once-popular day trip.

The Endeavour project has bought a former German harbour ferry for £1 with the hope of raising £3m to restore the 59-year-old rusting vessel.

A service used to link Liverpool with the Welsh resort, while en route to the Isle of Man, 30 years ago.

"The money is coming from some private investors," said restorer Steve Payne.

"We have some fund-raising ourselves and then we've had some bequests come in as well."

The 55-metre long vessel, first launched in Hamburg in 1958, has been rusting in Liverpool docks since 1994 when an attempt to turn her into a floating bar on Liverpool's famous Albert Dock failed.

Enthusiasts, headed by Mr Payne, saved her from scrap in 2016 with the dream of offering three-hour summer day trips for up to 450 people from Liverpool to Llandudno.

The Endeavour's two diesel engines will have to be refurbished while the lifeboats have been sent to Norway for an overhaul.

Many of the ship's fittings need replacing and even the ship's wheel has been stolen.

"If we were to build a ship this size, new at the moment, we'd be looking around £25m-£30m," said Mr Payne, secretary of the Liverpool and North Wales Steam Ship Company.

"We have the basis of a very, very good ship here."

Mr Payne is confident the new limited company can meet the health and safety requirements necessary to allow The Endeavour leave her berth in Liverpool's Canada Dock again.

The Endeavour has no history of sailing in British waters but Mr Payne believes she is the ideal ship for traditional summer day trippers.

"You can't find ships like this any more," he said.

"There's not a major UK connection but we want to establish a new connection for this ship so children can have a chance to experience this in 25 years time the way their grandparents did."

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