A trust that operates an historic sailing trawler is celebrating after receiving £80,000 to ensure it survives and remains accessible to the public amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

The Excelsior Trust in Lowestoft is set to receive £80,800 from the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The Trust is among a number of arts and heritage organisations across Norfolk and Waveney which will receive a share of £4m in funding.

The Trust operates the 100-year-old Lowestoft sailing trawler, Excelsior - a familiar and much loved sight off the east coast.

Admitting they were "thrilled" with the much needed funding, which will help "to keep Excelsior alive," a trust spokesman said: "This award will help the trust to maintain its crew and maintenance programme to ensure this iconic piece of east coast maritime history survives and remains accessible to the public."

Having reached its centenary this year the vessel has taken more than 10,000 people for sea voyages over the past 30 years that the Excelsior has been maintained as a charitable trust.

Chairman of the Excelsior Trust, Jamie Campbell, said: “This funding is most welcome and comes at a time when, along with so many other small charities, we are facing huge uncertainty of the future.

"We rely a great deal on charter income and obviously this has not been forthcoming.

"We lost a whole sailing season in 2020 and 2021 has been greatly curtailed.

"Nevertheless our loyal crew and volunteers have continued to maintain this remarkable centenarian.

"This vital support from the Culture Recovery Fund means that we are able to continue to offer voyages on this authentically maintained last remaining piece of local maritime heritage to one and all.”

The Trust is keen for the community to find out more about the Excelsior and it will be participating in the Heritage Open Days by being open to the public on Saturday, September 11 on Lowestoft’s Heritage Quay.

Visitors will have the opportunity to climb the rigging - with a safety harness - and tour the boat.

This year's sailing season will now commence in June.

For details of voyages visit www.theexcelsiortrust.co.uk or call 0845 308 2323.