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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 19:58 GMT 20:58 UK
Revamp plan at historic dockyard
ss Great Britain mast
The Victorian steamship will remain open during the work
A major transformation of the derelict dockyard buildings beside the SS Great Britain in Bristol is due to start.

The 30m project will include 145 apartments as well as facilities to help secure the historic ship's future.

A research library, archive and education centre will all be built in character with the surrounding Victorian architecture.

The Victorian steamship and the surrounding buildings will remain open throughout the work.

The ss Great Britain was the world's first propeller-driven ocean-going steamship.

Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, she was launched from Jefferies Dock in Bristol in 1843, and served as a liner, a ship taking travellers to Australia, and a troop carrier during the Crimean War.

However, a fire on board near the Falkland Islands in 1886 damaged her beyond repair, and she was condemned to use as a floating woolshed before being scuttled in 1937.

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