Heritage and exhibition specialists Focus Consultants are part of the team restoring the only surviving ship from the World War One Gallipoli campaign so that it can be opened up to the public.
HMS M.33 is one of Britain’s three surviving Royal Navy First World War warships and is currently in a dry dock in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, next to HMS Victory.
With the help of Focus, the restoration project secured almost £1.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and now work has begun to bring the ship back to former glory and allow the public to tour her in 2015, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign she took part in.
Focus, which has its headquarters in Nottingham and branches in London, Leicester, and in Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, has been appointed as cost consultant and CDM (construction, design and management) coordinator for the scheme.
“This is the latest in a number of schemes that Focus is currently involved in around Portsmouth Historic Dockyard,” said Focus Associate Eleanor Clarke. “Working with Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust and the International Boatbuilding Training College, we are project manager and quantity surveyor on a development to restore and refurbish Boathouse 4 and create a new £5.5 million Boatbuilding and Heritage Skills Training Centre.
“We are delighted to have now been appointed on another scheme in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. This project will bring HMS M.33 back to life and will enable visitors to go aboard this historic warship for the first time and explore the stories of those who fought on board.”
M.33 – a floating gun platform built with the sole aim of hammering targets ashore – became surplus to requirements in the 1980s and was bought by Hampshire County Council in 1990. For nearly 20 years, the gunship has been slowly undergoing restoration work.
But now the project is stepping up a gear with a £2.4m restoration which is being paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a Hampshire County Council grant to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
Since its creation in 1994, Focus has helped to secure more than £925 million of grant assistance for a range of projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.0 billion worth of projects and programmes – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the country.
It has worked on a range of high-profile projects in the arts, heritage and tourism sector, including some of the major museums across the UK, and important historical and ecclesiastical sites.