The world’s first transatlantic ocean liner, Brunel’s famous paddle steamer the Great Western, is to be rebuilt from scratch and form the centrepiece of a new £20m tourist attraction in Bristol. The project will see the Albion Dockyard – the dry dock next to the SS Great Britain on the harbourside – conserved and restored into what those behind the project say will be a ‘world-class maritime attraction inside a thriving working shipyard’.
The project, which has been rumoured for years in Bristol, is now being formally launched with the announcement that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded an initial grant of £600,000 to develop the project. The project will effectively more than double the size of the current SS Great Britain visitor attraction. The total cost of the project is being put at £20 million, of which £5 million is proposed to come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.