An appeal to save a historic paddle steamer has raised more than £850,000.

The campaign to support the Waverley has seen more than 5,000 people donate since it was announced in May that it would not being doing its annual trips in 2019.

This is, however, still short of the £2.3 million target needed to enable it to sail next summer.

The Waverley used to be a regular visitor to Weymouth, offering cruises along the Jurassic Coast.

Waverley Excursions General Manager Paul Semple said: "The continued support for the Boiler Refit Appeal has been heartening, we are receiving support from across the UK with many donating who are keen to see Waverley back cruising from Swanage and Weymouth next year.

"We are delighted that the total raised so far is over £850,000 but time is tight if we are to reach our target and have Waverley back in service for next summer. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated so far.

"The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society has continued to support our efforts. With so many people donating there is clearly strong support for this special ship.

"All involved with this project are totally focused on the fact that Waverley must sail again and can’t remain static. Our aim is to keep Waverley alive, but to achieve that aim we will need further support."

Work is currently ongoing to remove components from the boiler room.

An appeal for funding has been put out to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Anyone looking to donate can do so at, by calling 0141 243 2224 or texting STEAM £20 to 70085.