A HERITAGE Lottery Fund bid for £3.75million has been submitted in a bid to safeguard the future of an iconic vessel.

The bid has been launched to ensure the vintage excursion ship MV Balmoral is able to continue sailing.

The Balmoral is a regular visitor to the Jurassic Coast.

A MV Balmoral Fund spokesman explained: "We have been aware for some time from our discussions with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that substantial and costly improvements would need to be made to the crew accommodation on MV Balmoral before the 2019 season.

"We have more recently been advised that the long accepted practice of using doubled plates to repair the hull was no longer acceptable for anything other than emergency repairs.

"This not only applies to future repairs but also means that previous repairs need to be removed and re-done."