An anonymous £1 million donation has been made to help a Dumbarton-built ship get back on the water again.

The massive donation from the unknown benefactor is the biggest single donation to help the TS Queen Mary sail on the River Clyde.

The charity Friends of TS Queen Mary which rescued the ship – currently berthed at Pacific Quay in Glasgow and celebrating its 90th anniversary - is undertaking its restoration and aims to have it sailing once again within the next few years.

The cash windfall takes the fundraising total, made up of generous individual donations and corporate contributions, to £4.8 million - virtually halfway to the anticipated £10 million total cost.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: The ship received a huge donation from an anonymous benefactor The ship received a huge donation from an anonymous benefactor (Image: Friends of TS Queen Mary)

Iain Sim, chairman of Friends of TS Queen Mary, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of this individual. It delivers a massive boost to our fundraising endeavour which has caught the public mood across Britain and around the world.

“The individual who made such a substantial cash gift wishes to remain anonymous and we, of course, respect that request. But to say we are over the moon is putting it mildly.

“Our work continues to restore an iconic British ship whose proud history serving the Clyde rekindles many memories for tens of thousands of Scots and others across the world. We want to say to this most generous benefactor: thanks a million!

“We never forget the connection to Dumbarton which the TS Queen Mary has and we feel the town will be glad to see her sailing once again.”

The money will be used to construct new steel decks to ensure the ship complies with modern maritime safety requirements - one of the biggest structural undertakings of the ongoing work.

Built at William Denny shipyard in 1933, back in business the ship carried 13,000 holidaymakers every week to seaside resorts including Rothesay and Dunoon. It was known as 'Britain's Finest Pleasure Steamer' and because of her strong connection to Glasgow she was affectionately known as “The Glasgow Boat.”

It was the largest ship ever built for the excursion trade on the Clyde.

TS Queen Mary was meant to be a static heritage centre at Pacific Quay.

But after Princess Anne became Royal Patrol of the vessel four years ago plans changed and she announced last year the steamer would sail again on the Clyde. She visited the project again earlier this year.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: The Princess Royal visited the ship last yearThe Princess Royal visited the ship last year (Image: Friends of TS Queen Mary)

And last year, Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill took up the role of the steamer's Commonwealth Patron and has spoken of the importance of the ship's new lease of life.