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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 16:54 GMT
Lottery boost for ship's archive
ss Great Britain
The ss Great Britain's restoration has been recognised
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of 640,000 to the Bristol-based ss Great Britain Trust.

The money will allow the trust to open the Brunel Institute Conservation Learning Centre, including a national archive devoted to Brunel.

It will house several collections of rare and historic photographs, books and papers relating to maritime history and archaeology.

It will also include personal letters and diaries, which belonged to Brunel.

New centre

Julie Cooper, of HLF, said: "The creation of the Brunel Institute will offer the general public the chance to explore these extensive collections and understand Brunel and the ss Great Britain in a broader social and historical context.

"At the same time, future generations of engineers and scientists from across the city will have the space and support to pursue their careers."

The grant follows five previous HLF awards to the trust amounting to some 10m. The new centre will be situated in the Great Western Dockyard, home to the ss Great Britain.

Director of the ss Great Britain Trust, Matthew Tanner said: "We are delighted with this announcement.

"This grant will enable the trust and our partners, including the University of Bristol, City Museum and Art Gallery and the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, to forge ahead with the Brunel Institute."

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