THE charity which runs the Maid of the Loch is celebrating after being thrown a financial lifeline by the Wolfson Foundation.

The organisation has made a £35,000 donation to the paddle steamer’s owners, the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, to help it through the Covid-19 restrictions.

The Maid is currently closed for the winter, but the charity’s chairman, John Beveridge, says the foundation’s support will help it bridge the gap left by a significant fall in revenue due to the pandemic.

Mr Beveridge said: “This is wonderful news, and we are most grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for their support at this time.

“This award has enabled us to re-employ one member of staff and helps us through this difficult winter period”.

The initial Covid lockdown last spring and summer meant the Maid was only open to visitors – and thus bringing in money for the charity – for 10 weeks during 2020, and there is no revenue coming in at all during the ship’s five-month winter shutdown.

Based in London, the Wolfson Foundation funds projects across the UK, set up to support and promote excellence in education, science and medicine, heritage, humanities and the arts, and health and disability.

The foundation previously gave a grant towards the Maid’s £1.2 million refit.

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation said “Our funding was intended to be a mark of solidarity at an exceptional difficult time for all heritage organisations. We are delighted that the support has been helpful and has had an immediate and practical impact. We all look forward to seeing once again the glorious sight of the Maid of the Loch sailing serenely across Loch Lomond, full of passengers.”