Waverley will be back in service during 2012 thanks to the backing of a Euromillions lottery winner, Mrs Chris Weir from Largs. The world’s last seagoing paddle steamer’s future looked in doubt due to rising fuel and operating costs, and while members of the public donated more than £140,000 towards a £350,000 appeal, it was still touch and go as to whether the 65 year-old vessel would sail. Then Mrs Weir and husband Colin, who won £161m last July, stepped in to support Waverley’s 2012 season with what is described as a ‘substantial donation.’

The amount involved has not been revealed but has delighted Waverley’s supporters. Charlie Gordon, chairman of the newly established Waverley development board, said: “The generosity of Chris and Colin Weir has been wonderful and reflects the support we have received across the country. To see philanthropists backing their communities in this way is great, and we can’t thank them enough. What was most heartening was Chris’s commitment to our vision of the Waverley being at the heart of the economic and cultural lives of the communities she serves.’

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