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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Hopes sink for future of U-boat
The German U-boat
The German U-boat has been at Birkenhead for nine years
The future of one of Merseyside's most popular maritime attractions is in doubt because its home is needed for a car park.

The Historic Warships Collection at Birkenhead has to relocate because flats are being developed nearby.

Most of the collection can be moved, but there is no room for the biggest attraction - the only World War II German U boat recovered from the sea.

The boat is one of only one of four left in the world.

The old grain warehouses near the boat are being redeveloped into flats, with the berth area becoming a car park.

The former grain warehouses which are being redeveloped
The area will be a car park when the warehouses are redeveloped

The warships' trust says losing the U-boat, which has been there for nine years, puts a question mark over its whole future.

Wally Bennett, of the warships' trust, said: "We have been informed that the U-boat will not be accommodated and as a consequence, that will impact on our income and the future sustainability of the trust."

Wirral Council leases the land for the trust from the Mersey Docks Company and has found a new home for the other vessels just along the dock.

All the ships have to be moved by February next year.

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