AN ASSEMBLY member is looking to attract attention to the Newport Ship’s restoration from other Newports around the world.

William Graham AM told the Welsh Assembly last week that the ship was as important to the city as “the Tutankhamun find is to Egypt” and has contacted 164 staff at newspapers in other Newports to drum up possible interest.

Other sources for finance are being sought to preserve the ship after Newport council cut £105,000 from its budget this year.

South Wales East AM Mr Graham talked about the ship at a debate, ‘The Newport Medieval Ship – scuttled in 1469 and 2014?’ at the Senedd last week.

He said: “It is the only 15th Century ship yet discovered in the world. It gives an insight into Newport’s extensive maritime heritage,and offers the potential of worldwide interest and opportunity for investment and tourism in South Wales East. This vessel was scuttled in about 1469. It must not be scuttled again in 2014.”

The debate was held to talk about the lease on the warehouse where the ship is stored coming to an end in November, and Mr Graham acknowledged the influence of Allt-Yr-Yn’s Cllr Charles Ferris and the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust in helping to build support for the ship’s preservation.

The Newport Ship was discovered on the River Usk’s banks in June 2002 in Newport during the construction of the Riverfront Theatre. It was initially supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, then from Newport City Council.

More than 2,000 ship timbers and other artefacts were discovered during the excavation. Free open days will be held later this year on April 26, May 24 and July 12.

Among other Newports around the world, the one in Rhode Island, a major 18th century port city, contains the highest number of colonial buildings of any city in the United States.