Dunkirk Little Ship given £400,000 to turn into museum after sinking

Boatbuilders visit Dunkirk with a replica of the ship Credit: Skylark IX Recovery Trust/PA

A Dunkirk Little Ship which saved 600 lives has been given more than £400,000 to turn it into a floating museum.

Skylark IX has been granted £404,400 by the National Lottery for its restoration.

Once complete, it will sail on the Clyde as a museum telling the story of its role saving lives at Dunkirk in the Second World War.

Anne Dyer from the Skylark IX Recovery Trust said: “Not one day did we ever believe we could not face this huge challenge and in true Dunkirk Spirit we never gave up.

“When we started this venture, we never really knew the climb we had in front of us but in our hearts we had a sense that if we set out our vision and gather like-minded people then we would get there in the end. Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has made this mission real.”

Built as a passenger cruiser for 75 people in 1927, Skylark IX was called to the aid of the stranded Allied troops in Dunkirk in 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo.

She, and the ordinary seamen that sailed her, saved over 600 lives.

The Royal Navy helped to recover the vessel after it sank at Loch Lomond Credit: Skylark IX Recovery Trust

However, due to falling into disrepair, the ship sank on Loch Lomond in 2010.

Now, raised by the Royal Navy following a veterans’ campaign, Skylark IX is currently located at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine.

The restoration will be undertaken by a specialist boatbuilding team working with recovering drug addicts as part of a skills development programme, run by Dumbarton-based charity, Alternatives.