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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
David Laister

Spencer to deliver new dock for Spurn Lightship by company's Hull HQ

Hull engineering company Spencer Group is delivering a new permanent base for an iconic vessel as part of a major regeneration project in its home city.

The firm has been awarded the contract to build a wet berth for the Spurn Lightship in Hull Marina, just yards from its headquarters.

The new dock for the cherished vessel will form an important part of the Hull City Council-led Hull Maritime project. The £30m city-wide cultural regeneration scheme celebrates and preserves Hull’s rich maritime heritage. It involves the refurbishment of the Hull Maritime Museum and the restoration of two historic ships – the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship.

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The lightship was built in 1927 and served for 48 years as a navigation aid in the approaches of the Humber Estuary. It was decommissioned in 1975 before being bought by the local authority and moved to Hull Marina as a museum.

It has been closed since 2018 but is now expected to reopen in its new home close to the new Murdoch’s Connection footbridge, next summer.

The Spurn Lightship ahead of the overhaul. (Neil Holmes Photography Limited)

Richard Green-Morgan, construction director, said: “Spencer Group is delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide the wet berth for the Spurn Lightship. We’re excited to be a part of the transformative Hull Maritime project in our home city and proud to aid the return of the iconic Spurn Lightship vessel to the marina, for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“As a leading multi-disciplinary engineering company, we deliver major projects across the UK and the world, but we always enjoy working on our own doorstep. We hope to carry out some early investigation works before Christmas, with the main works beginning in January.”

The delivery of the wet berth is the latest in an impressive portfolio of marine projects delivered by Spencer Group, which include significant port infrastructure works.

It will include dredging of the berthing area and the installation of five mooring piles and a concrete bankseat, as well as a steel walkway to give access. The majority of the works will be carried out from floating pontoons.

Work to restore the lightship is in its final stages, with fellow Hull company Dunston Ship Repairs Ltd on the job. It is expected to be complete in the coming months. The vessel will then move to a temporary home on the marina until the new dock completes.

National Highways, which is carrying out major improvements to the A63 Castle Street route in and out of Hull, has awarded the authority more than £1 million through its Designated Funds programme for the delivery of the wet berth.

Work is being undertaken on the Spurn Lightship by Dunstons Ship Repairs Ltd in the city's William Wright Dock. (Neil Holmes Photography Limited)

Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, said: “The appointment of Spencer Group is excellent news and an important step for the Hull Maritime project. Work will get underway shortly and, once complete, the lightship will open for visitors again for everyone to enjoy and explore in its new home. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Spurn Lightship restored to its former glory in a fantastic new setting."

Spencer has previously designed and constructed a new repair yard ship lift at Fraserburgh Dock, which at the time was the first use of this technology in the UK to allow vessels to be lifted, conveyed and traversed into six work bays. Other notable projects include upgrading the roll-on, roll-off facility at Pembroke Dock, in west Wales, and installation of a new lock gate at the BAE Systems Dry Dock in Scotstoun, Glasgow.

The company also designed and constructed the swing footbridge over the River Hull to provide pedestrian access from Hull city centre to The Deep aquarium visitor attraction.

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