Maid of the Loch paddle steamer gets funding lifeline

The Maid of the Loch has been moored since 1981. 'PIC: Allan Milligan/TSPL.
The Maid of the Loch has been moored since 1981. 'PIC: Allan Milligan/TSPL.
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The 1950s Loch Lomond paddle steamer the Maid of the Loch looks set to sail again.

The project to renovate the pleasure boat, which has been moored at Balloch Pier since its last outing on the water in 1981, has been awarded funding of £950,000 by the Scottish Government.

Holidaymakers enjoy the sun in Balloch as the Maid of the Forth paddle steamer passes by in Loch Lomond, July 1972. PIC: Contributed.

Holidaymakers enjoy the sun in Balloch as the Maid of the Forth paddle steamer passes by in Loch Lomond, July 1972. PIC: Contributed.

Supporters of the paddle steamer need to raise £5.5m to bring her back into use for cruises and functions.

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The Loch Lomond Steamship Company, which owns the paddle steamer, said getting the fundings was a “major milestone” in getting the Maid back on the open water.

Chairman John Beveridge said: “It is absolutely wonderful news and a complete game changer for The Maid’s full restoration.

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“This takes us significantly closer to reaching our £5.5m target, but we still have a way to go.”

The Loch Lomond Steam Ship Company took over the vessel in 1996 and set about renovating it. Around £2m has been spent on the boat to date.