On 22nd April the £5.5m Stockton riverside heritage project was formally launched. [See page 889]
Contracts confirming the scheme and placing the order for a modern copy of the Endeavour were signed at a special ceremony. The £1m replica is due to be completed in 1997, and moored at the wharf at Castlegate Quay, Stockton. Staff at the Teeside firm AVECO have begun work on the steel hull of the ship, and it should be ready within a few months.
Officials behind the scheme also revealed that a former Royal Navy minesweeper could soon be moored alongside the replica as a further attraction for tourists.
A replica of George Stephenson's prototype railway locomotive The Rocket might also run along the waterfront, if cash can be found for a recreation of part of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which used to terminate at the quay.
At the special ceremony leaders of Stockton's City Challenge scheme gave £½m towards the cost of the project. It is the first big grant they have awarded from the £37½m budget which will be made available over the next five years.
The Castlegate Quay project will cost a total of £5½m, the bulk of which is still to be raised. Charities and trusts are being approached, and it is hoped that major regional businesses will come on board, wooed by the offer of being able to use the Endeavour for corporate hospitality.
From information supplied by Marjorie Simpson
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 949, volume 16, number 3 (1993).