Monday, October 22, 2007

Approval for U-boat to resurface


October 22, 2007

Plans for a former tourist attraction to be handed a permanent home on the banks of the Mersey have been given the go-ahead.

Wirral council has approved Merseytravel's proposal to house a German World War II U-boat at the Woodside Ferry Terminal.

The submarine was formerly an attraction at the Historic Warships Museum at Seacombe docks.

Plans include the provision of a visitor exhibition centre at the site.

The submarine was sunk during the war when, on her way to Norway, she was attacked by an RAF Liberator aircraft in 1945.

Forty-nine of the 52 crew members survived, including five who escaped via a torpedo hatch as the submarine lay on the sea bed.

'Good news'

The boat will be cut into three sections to be transported and viewed.

At Woodside huge glass panels installed over the end of each section will allow visitors to see inside the submarine from specially-built viewing platforms.

Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel, said: "It's very good news, not only does it give a home to the U-boat but it also compliments our work along the river with other attractions like Spaceport.

"We'll do a good job with this."

The exhibition in the visitors centre will display some of the four-and-a-half tons of memorabilia that was found on U534.

This includes an Enigma cipher machine, ammunition, uniforms, tools, charts and maps.

Work is expected to cost about £2.5m and will start next month and is to due to finish next year.



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