A 90-YEAR-OLD steamer has been moved from its berth at the Glasgow Science Centre as it prepares to undergo restoration works.

TS Queen Mary has been moved to the Govan Graving Docks for the first phase of the project.

The year-long project will help to preserve the iconic ship and will help to create employment opportunities for up to 12 people.

The scope of the restoration will be extensive and structurally complex, beginning with a 3D laser map scan of the ship’s structure, prior to the removal of the two funnels and wheelhouse which will both be completely rebuilt.

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Launched in 1933, it is one of the last surviving steam turbine ships to be built in Scotland.

It is believed that £10 million will be needed to fully restore the vessel, but the first phase can go ahead in part thanks to a £1m anonymous donation.

Marine Projects Scotland has been awarded the contract to carry out the work and its managing director Peter Breslin said: “It is a tremendous honour to be awarded the TS Queen Mary restoration contract.

“In the coming year, we will devote ourselves tirelessly to safeguarding, protecting and reviving this exquisite and historically significant vessel.

“Securing this contract is testament to our commitment and confidence in the business viability of Govan Drydock. As a fully operational ship repair and maintenance facility, it has the capacity to generate employment opportunities and contribution to the ongoing reinvigoration of the Clyde waterfront.”

In its heyday, the steamer carried 13,000 passengers every week. It was retired in 1977 before spending several years as a floating restaurant on the Thames.

It returned to the Clyde in 2016.

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Iain Sim, chairman of Friends of TS Queen Mary – a group dedicated to the ship’s restoration, added: “The trustees are delighted that this major contract will commence in TS Queen Mary’s 90th anniversary year.

“It will be truly transformative for this vital part of our maritime heritage. This major structural work will help breathe new life into TS Queen Mary and ensure she will be in the best possible condition for years to come.”