HMS Unicorn is an Accredited Museum and part of National Historic Ships UK's National Historic Fleet. It is owned and operated by The Unicorn Preservation Society, which was formed in 1968 and is charged with the conservation and preservation of HMS Unicorn as a Museum and Heritage Asset. The Society is a registered charity in Scotland, registration number SC002771 and is constituted as a Company Limited by Guarantee, registration number SC046145.
We have ambitious plans to secure HMS Unicorn's future by dry-docking her close to her current location.
Vision, Mission and Values
Our mission is to deliver a world class museum experience, work continuously to safeguard the future of HMS Unicorn, and care for our collections while making them accessible to all.
Our vision is to inspire those who visit and work with us, offering lifelong learning and engagement opportunities for our local communities and beyond.
InclusiveWe cultivate a friendly, respectful environment on board the ship, proactively seeking, welcoming and including individuals of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, races, religions, gender identities and sexualities.
PassionateWe are enthusiastic and proactive in caring for HMS Unicorn, sharing its history, and inspiring people now and into the future.
AmbitiousWe consistently exceed expectations and do not let our limited resources stop us achieving sector-leading work.
CollaborativeWe actively engage with partners, groups and people ensuring that we are a key part of our community in Dundee and beyond.
KindWe prioritize compassion and empathy, treating our visitors, staff, volunteers and others with understanding and a genuine desire to help.
Our Board of Trustees comprises of professionals who volunteer their time:
Emma Jane Wells - Chair
I am a museum and heritage professional, and have worked with a wide range of organisations throughout my career. I am a Falkland Islander by birth and so have an interest in maritime heritage. I joined Unicorn's Board to provide museum and collections-specific advice and support. I have 3 young children, so have little time left of my own! We have ponies at home and I also enjoy reading and keeping fit.
In addition to our Trustees, others with governance roles attend our Board meetings:
Our staff team are always pleased to welcome you on board:
HMS Unicorn is a rare survivor and is equivalent to the most historically important Grade 1 or A listed building. Our plans to preserve the ship can be found here in our strategic plan which sets out our way forward.
Currently there are three primary risks that the Society is focussed on:
- Over time ships experience stress along their hull, causing the centre to bend upwards or downwards. HMS Unicorn is bending upwards;
- Rainwater damage. The saltwater in which Unicorn sits helps preserve her exposed timber. Rainwater is acidic in nature and corrodes the exposed wood. This is the reason that Unicorn was roofed when built. It is rainwater that damages the outer skin of the hull and if we don't repair leaks the the inner skin of timber too;
- Time. Even with the relative protection of saltwater, the hull of a wooden ship deteriorates over time and requires high levels of maintenance and repair.
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