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Tall Ship Glenlee to become paid attraction again

The Tall Ship Glenleein Glasgow will become a paid attraction again and reintroduce a small admissions charge for visitors coming onboard from Monday 1 July.

Until now, the iconic visitor attraction on the River Clyde, which welcomes 200,000 visitors from around the world annually, was the only free-to-visit historic vessel or museum attraction of its kind in the UK.

The Trust, which runs and maintains the ship, has taken the decision following careful analysis of the challenging funding landscape and rising costs.

The funds will be used to fill the financial gap the ship faces, cover its running costs, deliver the best possible experience onboard for all and allow the independent charity to be more self-sufficient and better plan for the future.

The charge will be introduced alongside a new booking system, which will allow visitors to buy tickets online in advance at thetallship.com.

As the only Clydebuilt sailing ship of its kind still afloat on the Clyde, the vessel is of international significance and has an important role in Glasgow and Scotland’s world-class cultural landscape, serving as a reminder of the city’s industrial and maritime heritage.

The ship was originally a paid attraction, charging for entry for 13 years between 1999 and 2012. A reintroduction of entry fees has been considered for some time in light of rising costs, a reduction in onboard spending and donations, the impact of the pandemic and static external funding.

Fiona Greer, Development Director at The Tall Ship Glenlee, said: “As an independent charity, we are facing a similar situation as many other historic vessels and museum attractions across the UK who have expressed shared challenges.

“We know The Tall Ship Glenlee holds a very special place in many people’s hearts, both here in Glasgow and around the world, and we now need the public’s support to ensure we can continue to thrive. The ship is an icon of change that has adapted to survive over 127 years and is now embarking on its next chapter, and a more certain and hopeful future.”

The ship currently relies on revenue from a mixture of commercial income from private events, voluntary donations, and public funding and project-specific ring-fenced grants.

Admissions will be priced at £4.50 for adults, and £2.70 for children, £12.70 for a family of four, with concessions for students and pensioners and under 5s going free.

Visitors who are UK taxpayers will also have the option to purchase tickets with an added Gift Aid donation. Regular visitors can also take out an Annual Membership which allows unlimited visits over 12 months for the cost of just three individual trips.

Built in 1896, the former merchant sailing vessel is 127 years old and has circumnavigated the globe five times. It now provides a truly unique space for exploration, learning, heritage and entertainment in Glasgow.

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