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LV21 lightship which was moored at Gillingham Pier, moves to Gravesend

A historic lightship which was transformed into a floating art space will not be returning to its permanent mooring in Medway.

The LV21 had been moored at Gillingham Pier for several years before moving to Gravesend last summer and owners have now confirmed they’re staying at their new home.

Päivi Seppälä said she and fellow co-owner Gary Weston had been working with Kent County Council, Gravesham council and the Port of London Authority to acquire longer term moorings but stressed they remain on good terms with Medway Council.

Gary Weston with the LV21 Lightship
Gary Weston with the LV21 Lightship

And the lightship could yet reappear on the Medway horizon for future events in the Towns.

“Obviously LV21 is a floating vessel so we’ve always envisaged her as a tool to travel and share information,” said Päivi. “In the past we’ve moved to take part in events at Rochester Riverside and Newcastle.

“We’ll continue to move across Kent, including Medway.”

She said the move was inspired by the potential possibilities created by being based on the Thames with links to London, and working with a county council.

“We’ve got good relations across Medway, and we still live there,” she added.

Obviously if there are future opportunities in Medway, you might see us back on the horizon.”

Paivi Seppala
Paivi Seppala

And she said the decision was not based on funding, adding: “We don’t get funding from a public body. We might get funding to deliver specific projects. It’s more about looking for new opportunities.

“It’s what’s best for LV21 as an organisation.”

A Medway Council spokesman said: “The LV21 has been a key sight on the River Medway for many years.

“It has helped Medway develop its arts and cultural offer by hosting events for local people to enjoy.

“We wish the LV21 and its crew the best of luck with their new venture in Gravesend. We have spoken with the owners and we would be delighted to work with the LV21 again if any future opportunities for river-based cultural activity arise.”

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