The Senora is coming to Sunderland.
The Echo revealed in March that campaigners were facing a race against time to raise thousands of pounds to rescue the century-old yacht so it could be brought to Sunderland’s seafront and renovated.
We have been delighted by the public response to Senora’s plight. When she is restored to her former glory, she’ll give hundreds of people every year the chance to enjoy sailing for themselves.Senora Trust’s Kim Simpson
Enthusiasts hoped restoration of the 1908-built Señora would provide unemployed people on Wearside with the opportunity to train in boat building and carpentry skills.
But the vision was doomed unless the Senora Trust could raise £10,000, as the boat yard where she was being stored could no longer afford to keep her.
Now appeal organisers have revealed the target has been reached in just three weeks.
And North East builders’ merchant James Burrell has stepped in to double the money raised. Plans are now under way to bring the Senora to Sunderland so restoration can begin .
Once she arrives, 24 trainees will work to gain City & Guilds qualifications in boat building, carpentry and engineering skills, under the guidance of a master boatbuilder and project manager. The work should be complete in time to help Sunderland City host the Tall Ships festival in 2018.
The Senora Trust’s Kim Simpson said: “We have been delighted by the public response to Senora’s plight.
“When she is restored to her former glory, she’ll give hundreds of people every year the chance to enjoy sailing for themselves.
“We were so encouraged by the enthusiasm and vision shown by our Foundation Sponsor, James Burrell’s. I’m delighted local people and businesses have realised the importance of a project like this as a catalyst for the future of Sunderland’s economy and its people.”
The trust is now working to raise £250,000 to launch the next phase of this large-scale training and restoration project, and secure individual sponsorship for the trainees. To contact the trust, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/senoratrust