£500,000 for the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s iconic flagship, Reaper, has been announced during the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.
The funding will allow for a full refit of the historic herring drifter, which for the last 30 years has acted as an outreach ambassador for the museum, for Fife and for Scotland. This will be its most comprehensive refit since 1903.
Crewed by volunteer members of the Museum Boats Club, in recent years Reaper has visited over 50 separate venues around the UK, from Portsmouth to Lerwick, and taken aboard over 180,000 visitors, and has even provided a backdrop to episodes of the second series of hit show ‘Outlander’.
The Scottish Fisheries Museum, who has also supported the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology through its ‘Awesome Archaeology’ series and ‘East Neuk Unearthed’ event, is a key local visitor attraction, helping visitors get involved in uncovering history of both the fishing industry and the local community.
Ms Hyslop said: “Reaper is an important example of our maritime history as well as the flagship of the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s seagoing fleet.
“Over the years it has brought to life Scotland’s fishing heritage for thousands of tourists from home and abroad, as well as becoming a key asset as part of the museum’s excellent educational outreach work.
“This funding will allow thousands more people to enjoy this excellent illustration of our fishing tradition and I’m delighted to announce it in our Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”
David Corner, Chair of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “The boat is what makes our museum very special. She is a flagship for us, for Fife and for Scotland. She will be completely restored by May 2018 when she will continue her extensive programme of outreach to schools, fishing communities and the like.
“She is recognised, on a UK basis, as a National Historic Ship, but, more importantly, is much loved by all who see and visit her. My thanks again to the Scottish Government for helping us to maintain and promote such an important part of our rich national heritage.”