1. ITV Report

HMS Victory to go to Navy museum

The move for HMS Victory would make it easier to apply for grants to maintain her Photo: ITV

It's understood the vessel will still remain a commissioned warship when she's handed over to the museum in April.

Her new charitable status would mean the museum could apply for grants to contribute towards keeping the 18th century ship.

It's currently getting a £16m refurbishment, done by BAE Systems. The work includes repairing the middle-gun deck. The masts, booms and rigging have had to removed while the work takes place.

HMS Victory is sited in the historic dockyard in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and is the flagship of the Second Sea Lord and Commander in Chief Naval Home Command.

An MoD spokesman said: "We are considering options for the future of HMS Victory that will reinforce her status as a Royal Navy flagship and a commissioned warship.

"There are no plans to sell Victory. Under consideration is how her future can be secured by responsible custodianship as befits such a national icon.

"The Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence sees as paramount the preservation of HMS Victory for the nation.

"Whatever is decided in the interests of securing the ship's future, she will remain a commissioned warship under the white ensign and with a Royal Navy ship's company.

The MoD said maintaining the ship had been boosted significantly last year when BAE Systems Surface Ships were awarded a £16m contract to support HMS Victory.

It describe project as "the most extensive restoration since the ship returned from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

HMS Victory launched in 1765 from Chatham Dockyard. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy 13 years later in 1778.