A FUNDRAISING appeal to save the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer has reached its £2.3 million target just seven months after it was announced that the famous steamship would not operate in 2019.

The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, a not-for-profit charity which owns the Waverley, received donations from over 8,000 individuals and £1 million from the Scottish Government.

The paddle steamer has long been a summer favourite on the Welsh Coast, carrying passengers around the country, including across the Bristol Channel to Penarth, Llandudno and Anglesey.

Last year, the liner broke down a few days before it was due to arrive in Llandudno. Its tour operator, Waverly Excursions, confirmed that it would not be running in 2019 due to problems with the ship’s boiler.

The Waverley’s new boiler is currently being built in Annan, Scotland, and is due to be completed in February.

Waverley Excursions general manager, Paul Semple, said: “Thanks to the fantastic generosity of so many people and organisations we are now able to push full ahead with Waverley’s boiler refit which will be the most substantial refit since her rebuild was completed back in 2003.

“I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the appeal and supported our efforts to save the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.”

The Waverley will be moved from Glasgow to Greenock in January where the bulk of its surgery will take place. From there, it is expected to embark upon its regular cruises around the UK.

Penarth’s locals can expect to be reunited with the famed steam liner as it completes its voyage across the Bristol Channel in the summer of 2020.

The recent appeal for cash has been the most successful in the ship’s preservation career but ongoing support will be required given the annual cost of dry docking and refit.