Published: 15:39 EDT, 3 February 2013 | Updated: 04:42 EDT, 4 February 2013
It is the last remaining survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland with its glory days far behind it.
But now, the future of this historically significant war ship looks decidedly brighter.
HMS Caroline has been given a grant of £1million for urgent repairs.
Not all doom and gloom: HMS Caroline (pictured in Alexandra Dock in Belfast) has been awarded a grant of £1million for urgent repair work
The vital money will pay for work that will prevent further decay to the Belfast-based light cruiser while plans are finalised for its long-term future in the city.
Works will include making the ship wind and water tight and incorporate the removal of dangerous asbestos while the ship is in situ and afloat.
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The grant has been awarded to the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).
Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of the NMRN, said: ‘We cannot overestimate the significance of HMS Caroline.
Vital: The grant will pay for work that will prevent further decay to the Belfast-based light cruiser
Deteriorating: Peeling paint and rust show on the funnels of HMS Caroline
‘It is the only remaining floating survivor of World War One. NMRN is thrilled that the funding is now in place to secure it and prevent any further deterioration.’
Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the NHMF, added: ‘As we approach the centenary of the First World War, the National Heritage Memorial Fund’s role to protect our most important heritage at risk as a permanent memorial to those who have given their lives for this country has never felt so pertinent.
‘Without question, our trustees felt it was absolutely vital that as an icon of this devastating war, HMS Caroline must be safeguarded.’
Northern Ireland’s Minister for the Economy, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster said the funding marks the beginning of a two-stage rescue plan.
Last survivor: The historically significant war ship fought in the Battle of Jutland in 1916
Plans: Original builder's drawings are displayed on HMS Caroline
Extra steering apparatus is shown in the Tiller Flat area of HMS Caroline. Works will include making the ship wind and water tight and incorporate the removal of dangerous asbestos
She said: ‘The second stage will be driven by a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and preserve HMS Caroline.
‘Our ultimate aim is to transform the ship into a world-class floating museum in time for the Battle of Jutland centenary in 2016, as I believe HMS Caroline has huge potential as a visitor experience.’
Work can now start on repairing upper deck drainage, replacing perished seals on hatches and doors, removing and refurbishing portholes, repairing the leaking funnel deck and lifting areas of rotting deck and repair.
Other essential work, according to Caroline project director Captain John Rees, will include inspections of internal tanks and coffer dams, cleaning and repairing where leaks are found and the necessary asbestos remediation to enable this work.
Damaged: The original cook's galley onboard the ship shows its age
A contents list in the 6" shell room is seen below deck. It is hoped HMS Caroline will enjoy the same popularity as HMS Belfast, the Second World War cruiser-turned- tourist attraction moored in London
A compass (centre) and other steering apparatus is wrapped in plastic on the bridge
HMS Caroline is currently moored in Belfast and will be restored and opened to the public in time to celebrate her centenary in 2014.
It is hoped she will enjoy the same popularity as HMS Belfast, the Second World War cruiser-turned-tourist attraction that is moored on the Thames in London.
The ship is the last remaining survivor from the hugely important Battle of Jutland which took place during World War One.
The Battle of Jutland was the biggest maritime fight of the war when the Royal Navy, supported by ships from Australia and Canada, clashed with German vessels off the coast of Denmark.
The Royal Navy was judged to have won the battle.
The engine room of HMS Caroline. The ship was decommissioned in March 2011 and was the second oldest ship still in Royal Navy service
Resting place: The C-class cruiser has been moored at Belfast's Alexandra Dock (pictured) since 1924
Illuminating: Floodlights light up the turbines below deck on HMS Caroline. The ship was built in Merseyside in 1914
State of disrepair: The much-needed funding marks the beginning of a two-stage rescue plan
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: THE ROLE OF HMS CAROLINE
HMS Caroline moored in Belfast
HMS Caroline is considered to be the second most important ship in the Royal Navy after Nelson's flagship Victory.
Built in Merseyside in 1914, the 3,750-ton light, 446ft-long cruiser took part in the hugely significant, two-day Battle of Jutland in the North Sea in 1916.
It was her maximum speed of close to 30 knots that enabled the British Navy to respond to the increasing threat of long range torpedo attack on battleships, locating the enemy fleet and then rapidly carry news back to the British battleships.
When the war ended she became a static training ship based in Belfast. During the Second World War, HMS Caroline was back in action, acting as a key base for operations to protect the North Atlantic convoys from U-boat attacks.
In 1945 she returned to her role as a static drill ship.
The C-class cruiser has been moored at Belfast's Alexandra Dock since 1924 and was most recently used as a training ship.
She was decommissioned in March 2011.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2272914/Sweet-HMS-Caroline-Iconic-warship-involved-naval-battle-turned-tide-World-War-One-set-1m-renovation.html