East Midlands funding and business planning firm, Focus Consultants, has been appointed to work on a project which will result in the building and launching of a full-size replica of the Lenox, a 17th century sailing ship and which will be a major new tourist attraction based at Convoys Wharf, Lewisham, London.
Convoys Wharf, originally known as the Deptford Dockyard, opened in 1513 and was first used by Henry VIII to build his naval fleet. The HMS Lenox was commissioned under Charles II in 1678 as the first of 30 ships built during his reign to expand the Royal Navy into a leading force in Europe.
Convoys Wharf, which lies within walking distance of other popular maritime attractions, such as the Cutty Sark, The National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, has remained derelict for years. Now, planning consent has been granted for a major mixed-use waterfront development, encompassing both residential and commercial facilities. The Lenox project complements this development by highlighting the area’s unique maritime history.
As well as a replica of the Lenox, a new purpose-built visitor centre is planned which will display exhibits showcasing the history of the Royal Dockyard. It will also enable the public to see the ship’s construction, which is intended to be a mix of modern and traditional skills – the modern involving digitisation of the ship’s model and use of CNC routers to cut some of the timbers – and the traditional skills from the 17th century, mirroring the Lenox’s original creation. The plans aim to create jobs for specialists in traditional wooden boatbuilding and will also include apprenticeship opportunities to ensure these skills will not be lost to future generations, whilst the use of modern skills is transferable into a wider range of industries.
Heather Frecklington, partner at Focus Consultants, said: “This is a unique and extremely exciting project to be involved in. We are working closely with the charity to set the project up to be a success and look forward to seeing this major London regeneration project come to fruition.”