HMS Plymouth or Mayflower replica?
LET US place a realistic ballpark estimate of say £5 million upon the initial costs of paying off HMS Plymouth's presently accruing debts in Birkenhead, towing her dead hulk to Plymouth, leasing a berth in Devonport, restoring the ship, providing all of the necessary infrastructure needed for modern visitor attractions – power supplies, plumbing, ventilation, toilets, meeting health and safety requirements, access roads/pathways, car parking, security cover, etc and we would be ready for opening.
Further funding streams (above and beyond ticket sales) would then be needed, in perpetuity, to maintain a thin metal ship designed with a "shelf-life" of only about 30 years.
By contrast, suppose that a similar figure of £5 million could instead be raised between us to fund the building of a brand new "Mayflower III" replica, to be docked in Sutton Harbour and in use (for themed tours of the Sound, greeting Americans on board visiting cruise ships, filming contracts, etc), especially if in time for the international "Mayflower 400" celebrations in 2020 and long thereafter (as per "Mayflower II" in Plymouth Massachussets).
Would this not be the crowning glory of Plymouth's presently dis-jointed Mayflower Heritage and arguably Plymouth's future premier icon in terms of our heritage visitor attractions?
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Personally, as I advocated in my letter of December 10, 1999 to the city's then Chief Executive, I would have no hesitation in opting for the latter (and without delay!).