LIFEBOAT volunteers have received a "momentous" boost to their fundraising after receiving a donation of £55,000.

The cash injection to Rhyl RNLI will go towards a new Shannon class lifeboat, due to arrive in the town in 2019.

The huge donation, from the Steve Morgan Foundation, equates to more than a third of the £150,000 community appeal towards the new boat which will be modern in its design as well as faster and safer.

Fundraising was kick-started last year when Brendan O’Carroll, star of BBC comedy Mrs Brown's Boys, shocked Rhyl RNLI volunteers by revealing on stage at Pavilion Theatre that he would donate £10,000 towards the Shannon-class lifeboat.

Since then, the charity has been "overwhelmed" by the generosity of the community.

The appeal already stands at £100,000.

Deb Mahon, community fundraising manager for North Wales, said: "This really is typical of a community like Rhyl - always setting the bar high, their generosity never ceases to amaze us. To be at such a fantastic figure already is quite simply phenomenal. We now hope everyone gets behind the station to help raise the remaining total."

Cllr Pete Prendergast, Denbighshire County Council Chairman who has lent his support to the charity, said: "When I heard the station had been allocated a Shannon, I wrote to a number of large businesses to see if there was anything they could do to help.

"I was amazed when the Steve Morgan Foundation agreed to donate £55,000, what a fantastic boost to the appeal."

The foundation - which supports project that help children and families, people with physical or learning disabilities, the elderly, or those that are socially disadvantaged in North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire - was founded in 2001 by businessman, investor, and philanthropist Steve Morgan.

Mr Morgan said: "They [the trustees] have been pleased to make a substantial contribution for the new Shannon class lifeboat, which undoubtedly will save many lives."