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5 July 2013, 06:26
The only surviving British submarine from World War Two will be unveiled in Gosport later, after a year of work to restore it.
The first sight of the restoration work to save HMS Alliance will finally be revealed on Friday 5 July.
After decades of exposure to sea water and dampness that has caused severe corrosion, Alliance, the centrepiece attraction at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, enters the final phase of a £7m conservation project to restore her back to her former glory.
The first full sight of the restored exterior will be viewed by Museum staff, volunteers and former crew.
Chris Munns, Director of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, said:
"This is an exciting milestone in our conservation project to restore HMS Alliance for future generations.
"It will be the first glimpse that submariners and our visitors will get to view the restoration work of the entire exterior of this fascinating submarine that is a major part of our maritime heritage and the memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of the 5300 British submariners who have died in service."
The completion of the restoration to the exterior of HMS Alliance also marks the completion of the second phase of the overall Alliance Conservation Project. The first phase which completed last summer was the construction of a cofferdam around the base of the submarine to ensure easy access for regular maintenance.
The final phase of works will start this autumn and will focus on internal conservation, new interpretation, state of the art lighting and soundscapes to bring the submarine to life.
The Alliance Conservation Project will be fully completed ready for the historic submarine to be relaunched next Spring in 2014. Visitors to the Submarine Museum will be able to visit HMS Alliance throughout the summer holidays and during the internal restoration works.
HMS Alliance was designed during the WWII for service in the Far East and was launched in 1945, as victory was achieved. She then began a distinguished 28 year career during the Cold War until she retired in 1982 as the centrepiece of the Submarine Museum.
The project to save HMS Alliance received a £3.4 million lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A further £3.45 million has been donated leaving about £120,000 left to raise.
As well as the physical conservation, at the heart of the project is a new education programme and dynamic interpretation scheme which will bring Alliance 'back to life' for all visitors.
Improvements will include dressing the accommodation spaces to reflect the decades of Alliance's service from the 1940's through to the 1970's with interactive soundscapes that reflect how the submarine looked and felt whilst on operations.