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Historic yacht saved from the scrapheap
Senora yacht's deck in need of restoration

Historic yacht saved from the scrapheap set to bring jobs and training to Sunderland

The Senora was saved by enthusiasts who raised £10,000 and it will now be used to equip young people with the skills needed for work

An historic yacht saved from the scrapyard is set to sail up the River Wear, bringing jobs and training in its wake.

Classic boat Senora was set to be used as firewood, before enthusiasts clubbed together and raised the £10,000 needed to save her.

Now the 1908 vessel will allow 24 trainees to gain City and Guilds Qualifications in boat building, carpentry and engineering skills, equipping them for jobs in related industries.

And North East builders’ merchant, James Burrell, has stepped in to help, giving another £10,000 to bring the ‘People’s Yacht’ to the River Wear.

The joint managing director of James Burrell, Stephen Richardson, said: “We are proud to support the Senora Trust in their project to restore this historic yacht. Our 138 year history is important to us at James Burrell, but of greater importance is our future and we see investing in young people is paramount to ensure a successful future.

“In Senora we see direct parallels, the historic nature of the vessel, but more so the importance of giving local young people the opportunity to be trained in a locally traditional skill.

Historic yacht saved from the scrapheap

Senora yacht ashore on the south coast

“Having just opened a new branch in the City of Sunderland we see this as an opportunity for James Burrell to show their commitment to the community and economy of Sunderland.”

The Senora Trust will employ a master boatbuilder and project manager to run the training programme.

At the end of the programme, Senora will be restored to her former glory in her new home on the River Wear in time to help Sunderland City host the Tall Ships festival in 2018.

The Señora charitable trust is now working to raise £250,000 to launch the next phase of the large-scale training and restoration project, and to secure individual sponsorship for the trainees.

Kim Simpson from the Señora Trust said: “We have been delighted by the public response to Senora’s plight. Now that we have purchased her for Sunderland, she will become ‘The People’s Yacht’, creating training and jobs. And when she is restored to her former glory, she’ll give hundreds of people every year the chance to enjoy sailing for themselves.”

“We were so encouraged by the enthusiasm and vision shown by our Foundation Sponsor, James Burrell’s, a local company. They are a family from with a real heart to support skills training and job creation in the North East. I’m delighted that local people and businesses have realised the importance of a project like this as a catalyst for the future of Sunderland’s economy and its people.”

Anyone wishing to contact the Senora Trust to offer support in any way can email at senoratrust@gmail.com or via facebook.com/senoratrust

 KEIRAN SOUTHERN

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