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  1. ITV Report

Bluebird restoration halted over legal dispute

Bluebird in testing on the Isle of Bute Credit: Press Association

The team restoring Donald Campbell's Bluebird speedboat says it has stopped all work on the project for the forseeable future.

Bill Smith and a team of volunteers spent years rebuilding the jet-powered hydroplane after recovering it from Coniston Water in 2001.

The vessel crashed in 1967 killing Donald Campbell while he was attempting a new water speed record.

In 2018 the restored Bluebird made her first powered runs on Loch Fad in Scotland.

But the team, which wants to tour the vessel around the world with it only exhibited in Coniston for a limited period, is in legal dispute with Coniston's Ruskin Museum over ownership of Bluebird.

The wreckage of Bluebird is removed from Coniston in 2001 Credit: ITV Border

"It is with regret that due to circumstances beyond our control the Bluebird Project has been left with no option but to cease all operations on the restoration of Bluebird K7 for the foreseeable future. This is due to contractual and other matters that we fully believed to be adequately covered but which now appear to require further work.

"We remain as committed as ever to displaying Bluebird K7 in Coniston and operating her on Coniston Water for public benefit as well as at other locations but to achieve this goal, set by ourselves back in 2002, much effort is still required by many people."

– Bluebird Project statement