Crucial repairs for the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery

The Dundee Industrial Heritage Trust received a NHMF grant of £1,409,000 to allow them to begin vital conservation work on RRS Discovery. 

An irreplaceable part of the UK’s heritage 

Built in Dundee in 1901 for one of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic expeditions, the RRS Discovery is the sole surviving UK ship from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. It was the first ship in the world specifically designed for scientific research in ice-packed Antarctic regions.  

Docked at Discovery Point, RSS Discovery receives over 100,000 visitors every year, including school groups and tourists from around the world.  

Boat in dock
The RSS Discovery. Credit: Dundee Heritage Trust.

Risk to the Discovery had become critical  

Discovery has been deteriorating in multiple areas, including parts of the internal hull, bow and propeller shaft. Its stern timbers and portside bulwarks – the parts of the ship above the main deck – are decaying. Emergency repair works have become vital.

Set for the future 

NHMF funding will contribute to the first phase of the Discovery’s full restoration and will eventually lead to an enhanced annual maintenance programme.  

The conservation work is part of a larger redevelopment programme – ‘Discovery Point Transformed’ – costing £12m and running until 2025. The programme will conserve the ship and create a world-class attraction for tourists and the community, with new galleries, events spaces, restaurant and facilities.

Grant awarded
Year awarded