THE world’s last remaining seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer is set for a return to Clacton later this year, it has been announced.

The Waverley was withdrawn from service last year after its operators needed to raise £2.3million to replace boilers.

An appeal was launched, the target was hit and now the ship will be making a triumphant return, with excursions around the British coast.

The iconic paddle steamer, which was built in 1946, was a regular caller at Clacton Pier.

Work needs to be carried out to the pier’s berthing arm to ensure the attraction continues and bosses have given assurances that the scheme will be completed this summer.

Communications manager Nigel Brown said that talks have already taken place and excursions will be running again this year.

“There was damage to one of the cleats when the Waverley docked in October 2018 and we need to make other repairs that will allow the vessel to berth with us,” he said.

“The pier was originally built for ships to dock and we want to keep that going as recognition of the history of the landmark.

“We will be doing the work as our donation to the appeal.

“There is no finer sight than the Waverley, which ranks as of national significance, pulling alongside the pier to pick up passengers and many will be delighted to see it back again this autumn.”

The appeal for £2.3million was reached with donations from 8,500 individuals, the Paddle Steam Preservation Society, the Scottish Government, trusts and foundations.

Tim Wardley, chairman of the National Piers Society with a 30-year association with Waverley, said he is delighted the paddle steamer will be returning to Clacton Pier this year.

“It will once again be offering day trips and an exciting experience for all the family,” he added.