THE LAST paddle steamer that was built in Britain will re-open at Balloch Pier will re-open on Friday in time for the Easter weekend.
The Maid of the Loch received a £950,000 cash injection from The Scottish Government for renovations.
Work includes the refurbished promenade aft deck saloon, set for completion end of June, which will serve a dual purpose as an education facility for school visits and as a small function suite.
Further renovation includes The Queens’ Lounge at the stern, currently undergoing significant strengthening and upgrading works to make it fit for purpose for larger events and functions and lift will also be fitted to provide assistance between decks.
A major feature will be to get the steam engines operating again.
New pipework is being manufactured and will be fitted next month and it is planned to have the engines running by the end of June.
John Beveridge, Charmain of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company said: “It really has been all hands-on deck in recent months thanks to the funding we received earlier this year, and our naval architects and contractors have worked wonders so far.
“Work is very much still ongoing and will be until June/July time, however there are areas that can be enjoyed by visitors and we are thrilled to be able to open in time for Easter and host our traditional egg hunt.”
The Easter Egg Hunt will run on the pier, approaches and near the Winch House from Friday 19th – Sunday 21st April and will cost just £2 per person. All the money raised will go towards the Maid fundraising appeal.
The charity Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC) has worked since 1996 to transform and restore the ship, with the aim of making the paddle steamer fully operational.
From Easter weekend, Maid of the Loch will open every day until the end of October. Opening hours and any closures due to works on the ship will be publicised on the website.