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Trinity Sailing receives lottery funding for restoration of 'Leader'

The Trinity Sailing Foundation is celebrating an award of £170,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the restoration of the former Brixham sailing trawler, Leader.

In a surprise announcement, the Foundation was presented with a cheque by Eastenders actor Larry Lamb, which was caught on camera as part of The National Lottery: Secret Fortune and was shown on Saturday night on BBC 1.

Larry Lamb revealed the award to a delighted crowd on board Leader which included Trinity staff, Trustees and supporters as well as groups of young people from Tavistock and Plymouth who had been sailing on Leader earlier this year.


Leader was built at Galmpton on the River Dart in 1892 and she is the largest of the five Brixham sailing trawlers to survive in the UK; three of which are owned and preserved by the Foundation. Although the restoration of the main weatherdeck and supporting structures is the centrepiece of the project, it is also focussed on helping people learn about, appreciate and become involved in the maritime heritage of the area around Brixham and Torbay.

The project will also provide opportunities for volunteers, for training and for learning traditional boat building and conservation skills.

During the restoration Leader will be located in Brixham Harbour and visitors to it will be able to see traditional shipwrights at work and take part in hands-on demonstrations, including rope-making and carpentry.

Trinity will be working with partners including the Brixham Community College, Brixham Heritage Museum, and Brixham Heritage Archive to create an exhibition, publications and media materials to fully support the educational part of the project. It is hoped that primary and secondary schools from throughout South Devon will visit the project over the coming six months to see work in progress.

Commenting on the announcement Struan Coupar, Chairman of the Trinity Sailing Foundation said "This is great news for Brixham and gives us a fantastic opportunity not only to restore one of the largest fishing vessels of her type ever built, but also to establish a legacy of education and heritage for the whole community. Leader is an important example of our maritime and industrial heritage, and the oldest surviving example of her type.

He added, "The Foundation uses the unique sailing environment on board Leader to challenge, motivate and inspire young people and this funding will ensure many more thousands of people can benefit from sailing on her. We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and our other partners for the chance to invest in her future".

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "We at HLF are delighted to be able to support the restoration of Leader. The development of the fishing industry is at the heart of the story of Brixham, and the preservation of Leader is vital for ensuring future generations have the chance to learn about and enjoy this fascinating history. As this project shows, by playing The National Lottery, you can be proud that you're making a difference to people and places in your area."

Trinity, a registered charity, was established in Brixham in 1999, and as well as being responsible for the preservation of four historic sailing vessels, uses them for sail training, to assist the personal development of disadvantaged and disabled young people. It also offers the general public opportunities to experience life under traditional sail.

The project wishes to encourage as many people as possible, young and young at heart, to get involved in the project. For further information or to enrol as a volunteer please contact, HLF Project Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01803 883355.