HMS Victory could be privatised

Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory could be sold because the Ministry of Defence says the 18th century warship is too expensive to maintain.

This could see her passed to a private firm or given to a charity to save cash. The MoD says increasing budgetary pressures mean it must review Victory’s future like any other ship.

HMS Victory costs £1.5 million to maintain and run each year, but when major work is needed the figure increases.

Up to half a million people visit her at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard annually, with entrance fees divided up and shared between all the major attractions.

The MoD said it was considering whether to hand Victory over to a private company, a charitable trust similar to the one that looks after the Mary Rose, another government department or keep the status quo.