The HMS Caroline Museum has received a reprieve after months of uncertainty about its future.
The Battle of Jutland veteran who became a tourist attraction in Belfast suffered a significant loss of income following the closure during the lockdown.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) closed Caroline and other visitor facilities in Portsmouth, Gosport, Hartlepool and Yeovilton when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
Loss of ticketing revenue during the lockdown has resulted in a budget deficit of £ 6.35m.
While the Treasury Department has offered the museum an emergency grant to reopen its sites in England, funding in Northern Ireland is through the Stormont Executive.
The NMRN confirmed today that a joint agreement has now been reached with the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The conditions allow the museum to continue working through December 31, and jobs that were at risk of being laid off after the vacation program ended will no longer be considered at risk.
In a statement, the museum said it regretted the “stress and uncertainty” faced by staff.
“However, it had to negotiate a number of clauses in the agreement to ensure that the staff, ship and museum are protected from financial uncertainty,” a spokesman said.
“While the long-term operation of the ship is yet to be confirmed, this interim arrangement means that staff will remain employed until December 31, 2020 if a decision is to be made on the future operation of the ship.
“The museum is relieved that it has been able to protect its incredible team at HMS Caroline from layoffs for the next eight weeks and would like to assure you that it will continue to work closely with DfE to find a longer term solution that will allow visitors to come. “To climb back on board this stunning 100 year old survivor, the only surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland. ”
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