Monday, February 18, 2008

 

Euro-cash for Wirral U-Boat project

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Liverpool Daily Post
By Liam Murphy
February 18, 2008


A SCHEME to rejuvenate Woodside ferry terminal by siting a former German U-Boat there has received a cash boost from the EU.

The plans by Merseytravel would aim to see the Wirral ferry terminal become a major tourist attraction in the £2.5m scheme.

Now the plans have been boosted by a £550,000 grant, and it is expected the U-Boat will be opened to the public this summer.

Work has already started on cutting up the U-534 which will become the centrepiece of the attraction.

Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, which owns and operates the Mersey Ferries, welcomed the extra cash for the scheme.

He said: “This is a great boost to an exciting project which has a twofold objective.

“It will complement the wider regeneration of the Woodside development and help maintain Mersey Ferries as the premier paid for attraction in the region.”

U-534 was one of the last U-boats to be sunk by the Allies in 1945, around two days before the end of the war in Europe.

It was never involved in active combat but carried out meteorological operations, and was raised in 1993, eventually coming to Birkenhead, where it was part of the historic warship collection.

Engineers using a diamond wire cutter are cutting the sub into four sections, each of which will be moved by floating crane from its present location at Mortar Mill Quay to Woodside.

Each section will take a day to move and the operation will take about a month. The first to be removed will be a 23-metre length of the bow and work will start next month.

The cutting has been designed with such precision that the submarine could be re-assembled into one piece if required.

Preliminary work has also started on the exhibition area at Woodside, which will include artefacts from the sub and other memorabilia portraying the history of undersea warfare.

Richard Nutter, director of the European Objective One programme, said: “Objective One has long been one of the biggest supporters of the Mersey Ferries.”

SEE a video about the project to slice up the U-Boat on the Daily Post website, www. dailypost.co.uk


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