Deadline Passes For Ark Royal Sale

Bidding's ended for the chance to buy the former Royal Navy flagship HMS Ark Royal.

It's been up for sale on the MoD's version of eBay since being decomissioned at Portsmouth naval base in March.

Officials say they'll now review all the bids and choose a winner.

Ideas for the former aircraft carrier include a dive wreck off the south coast, a school and nightclub in China, a casino in Hong Kong and a heliport in London.

The sale, organised by the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) agency, was due to finish last month but was extended until today because of the amount of interest.

A DE&S spokesman said:

“It will take a couple of months because there has been quite a lot of interest which led to the deadline being extended from last month.

“A committee will sit down and review the bids, they will go into a lot of detail to see which bids meet the necessary criteria.

“It is quite a technical process and then a preferred bidder will be chosen to take the purchase forward.”

The Ark Royal’s sale follows that of its sister ship HMS Invincible which was towed away to a scrapyard in Turkey after being sold on the same internet site.

The website is run by the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) arm of the MoD which has a budget of £14 billion to equip the UK's armed forces.