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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 00:58 GMT 01:58 UK
Cutty Sark given 12m cash float
The Cutty Sark
The ship will close for a time while the work is carried out.
A huge restoration of the Cutty Sark tea clipper is to go ahead thanks to a 12m boost from the Lottery.

The project will involve lifting the 137-year-old ship, which is in dry dock in Greenwich, south-east London, three metres above her current position.

It will allow visitors to walk beneath the hull of the ship into a planned cafe and education area.

The Cutty Sark Trust said the Heritage Lottery Fund grant would secure the ship's future.

In 2004 conservationists warned the vessel's future as an attraction was in doubt because of erosion of its frame.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant follows earlier funding for the ship - the world's sole surviving tea clipper - of 1.3m from the Lottery.

The trust was told last year that a further 11.75m had been earmarked for its restoration project, subject to a second, more detailed application outlining its plans.

'Maritime heritage'

News of its success has been announced on National Lottery Day to highlight the impact that Lottery funding has had on the UK.

Carole Souter, director of the HLF, said: "The Cutty Sark is an amazing testament to our maritime heritage and one that must be protected for another century's worth of enjoyment.

"It is one of the UK's most popular tourist attractions and once fully restored will be able to welcome even more people who will learn all about its fascinating history."

The ship will close temporarily from November so that conservation work, involving mechanical cleaning and applying preventative coatings, can take place.

Our purpose quite simply is to secure the future of the ship and to give visitors a truly awe-inspiring experience
Richard Doughty
Cutty Sark Trust
A glass "bubble" will also be attached to give year-round protection to visitors in the dry berth and to the lower hull itself.

In 2004, conservationists warned the Cutty Sark's iron frame was eroding so fast that the ship could be closed to the public within three years.

Richard Doughty, chief executive of the Cutty Sark Trust, said he was "so grateful" to the HLF for securing the ship's future.

"Our purpose quite simply is to secure the future of the ship and to give visitors a truly awe-inspiring experience," he said.

Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said it was "exactly the sort of project" that the National Lottery was designed to support.

The Cutty Sark was originally used to deliver tea from China in the 1870s and later travelled on many journeys to fetch wool from Australia.


SEE ALSO
Cutty Sark's 1.3m funding boost
26 Jan 05 |  London
25m attempt to save Cutty Sark
14 Sep 04 |  London
Landmark ship 'faces collapse'
18 Aug 04 |  Science/Nature
Historic ship needs repair
11 Dec 02 |  England

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