I was delighted to visit the Maid of the Loch Steamship on Loch Lomond. Meeting with members of the volunteer Board of Directors of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, I was able to offer practical support with their efforts to have the Maid sailing in a few short years’ time.
Loch Lomond Steamship Company now have a fundraising officer in post and are confident that with the right help, they can meet their target of raising £2million to add to the funding they have already secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £3.8million.
When their plan is realised, the Maid of the Loch will once again be able to carry 400 passengers, sailing the Loch from Balloch to Tarbet.
The work that the volunteers have put in is astonishing. The Maid of the Loch has come so far over the past few years and as it is, it is a wonderful place to visit on a day out in Balloch and makes an excellent and truly unique venue for parties, weddings and a whole range of activities.
The final push for funding will see the boiler and other vital systems restored or replaced and it is hoped that in two years’ time, work can begin on this final phase of bringing the Maid of the Loch to life again.
This is a real jewel in the crown for West Dunbartonshire and the National Park as a whole and I will be working with the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, my fellow MPs, Scottish Enterprise, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and others to help them reach their funding goal.