12:00PM, Saturday 09 May 2020
A passenger vessel has set up a fundraising page to keep it on the water after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Thames steamer ‘Alaska’, moored up near Henley Road, is struggling due to a lack of river trade this year.
Owners of the vessel say they have been ‘lobbying at the highest level’ for government assistance, which captain Peter Green is finding difficult to obtain.
There is now the prospect of keeping the boat out of service until next year with no certainty over the resumption of river trade this summer.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to keep Alaska running, with costs such as mooring and licensing fees mounting.
More than £5,000 has been raised but a £25,000 target has been set.
A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “We are making an extra £617million available to local authorities to offer grants to small businesses, like those based on boats, which are not business ratepayers but still have relatively high fixed costs related to their property.
“Councils will be able to decide eligibility for this new funding in response to local circumstances.”
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