A PROJECT to build a Viking ship in the centre of York has received a warm welcome from locals and visitors alike.

A joint scheme between York Archaeological Trust and Help For Heroes showcased their boat-building prowess in the Coppergate Centre throughout last week.

Those meeting the Help for Heroes team were able to see the results so far of a long-term project between the community engagement team from York Archaeological Trust and wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving military personnel from the Help for Heroes’ recovery centre, based at Catterick Garrison.

Many tried their hand at helping to carve the phoenix figurehead, which will sit on the prow of the 26ft replica Viking ship as a tribute to Phoenix House, where the recovery centre wood shop is based.

Marketing manager at York Archaeological Trust, Beth Dawes, said: “We were delighted to welcome members of the team working on the project, as well as the experts from behind the scenes, to share this project on home turf.

“The process of building a boat has encouraged those participating in our workshops to consider parallels between the voyages of these sea-faring people and their own personal journeys towards recovery.”

Visitors were able to see the boat plans, talk with boat building expert Mike Holtham and one of the volunteer wood carvers, Colin Laycock, as well as meeting Jorvik Viking Centre’s interactive team to learn about the Viking’s passion for travelling the world.

Beth went on to say: “We’re still very much on schedule for the boat to be complete in time for the 2020 JORVIK Viking Festival.”