Maid of the Loch paddle steamer gets funding lifeline

The 1950s Loch Lomond paddle steamer the Maid of the Loch looks set to sail again.

Monday, 19th March 2018, 6:02 pm
Updated Monday, 19th March 2018, 6:03 pm
The Maid of the Loch has been moored since 1981. PIC: Allan Milligan/TSPL.

The project to renovate the pleasure boat, which has been moored at Balloch Pier since its last outing on the water in 1981, has been awarded funding of £950,000 by the Scottish Government.

Supporters of the paddle steamer need to raise £5.5m to bring her back into use for cruises and functions.

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Holidaymakers enjoy the sun in Balloch as the Maid of the Forth paddle steamer passes by in Loch Lomond, July 1972. PIC: Contributed.

The Loch Lomond Steamship Company, which owns the paddle steamer, said getting the fundings was a “major milestone” in getting the Maid back on the open water.

Chairman John Beveridge said: “It is absolutely wonderful news and a complete game changer for The Maid’s full restoration.

“This takes us significantly closer to reaching our £5.5m target, but we still have a way to go.”

Holidaymakers enjoy the sun in Balloch as the Maid of the Forth paddle steamer passes by in Loch Lomond, July 1972. PIC: Contributed.

The Loch Lomond Steam Ship Company took over the vessel in 1996 and set about renovating it. Around £2m has been spent on the boat to date.