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Award win for D-Day landing craft conservation project

The D-Day survivor LCT 7074 has been chosen as a Museum and Heritage Awards Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year.

The judges’ citation read: “The scale of this project is astonishing and was, without doubt, challenging. It was detailed in its conservation principles and brilliantly delivered — the judges felt that it was a remarkable achievement.”

This recognition comes at the same time that the National Lottery Heritage Fund confirmed an additional £589,000 to support the project.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) worked with Portsmouth City Council’s D-Day Story, to conserve, research, interpret and display the 59-metre 300-ton landing craft tank ship which is now open to visitors.

Most invading troops on D-Day arrived by sea in landing craft. Of these landing craft, more than 800 were the large Landing Craft (Tank). Just one survives, LCT 7074, which has been designated part of the National Historic Fleet.

The £7 million project started in 2014 with a call to raise the stricken vessel from her sunken mooring at Birkenhead, with last-minute funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Once raised and securely located in HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, the NMRN embarked on a two-year conservation project, with £4.7 million funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to secure her long-term future.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy said: “This award really does demonstrate the unique and extraordinary skills that the National Museum of the Royal Navy conservation team hold. The challenge to conserve a fragile low-grade steel vessel made to last months and ensure she is robust enough to tell the vital story of D-Day for generations to come is immense.”

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