Replica Mayflower ship still on track to recreate historic Atlantic journey

A model of the Mayflower. Photo: ITV News Anglia.

A £2.5m project to build a replica of the ship which took the founding fathers of America across the Atlantic is still on track - despite a scare over a beetle infestation.

The Mayflower is being recreated at Harwich where it is thought to have been originally built.

It sailed to America in 1620 and the team behind the replica hope it will be able to recreate that journey for the 400th anniversary.

But three years into the project, they discovered a beetle infestation which has damaged some of the hundreds of tonnes of wood needed for the ship.

The infected oak has now been removed from the site and is in the process of being replaced.

The team said it was confident they would still finish the project in time for the anniversary and were looking forward to it reaching the stage when the emerging replica could be moved outside.

"It's taken three years to get to the stage where we are now. It's going to be huge. It will be a landmark that people can see built and grow."

– Jeff Webber, Mayflower Project.

The project aims to become a tourist attraction for the area and highlight the role Harwich played in America's history.

But is also bringing jobs and training to the town. Apprentices are learning the traditional skills associated with ships building.

There are also plans for a visitor centre and museum linked to the project and the possibility that more replicas will be built in the future.

Working on the replica Mayflower in Harwich. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Watch Victoria Lampard's report.

Some of the oak for the replica ship had an insect infestation. Credit: ITV News Anglia.