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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 07:22 GMT
Lottery cash helps medieval ship
Experts working on the ship
The grant will fund the team for about two years
The team studying one of Wales' most important archaeological finds will receive an extra 799,500 in funding.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant will help pay for the project to examine the medieval ship buried in the banks of the River Usk, Newport.

The money will also fund public exhibitions, talks and workshops about the 15th century ship.

Builders uncovered the Newport Ship in 2002, during excavation for the city's Riverfront and Arts Centre.

The team will record and analyse the 1,700 timbers in the ship using state-of-the-art digital technology.

Archaeologists hope the research will shed light on trade and travel across Europe during the Middle Ages. It will also help them decide on how to proceed with future conservation and reconstruction.

At the end of this process we will have a much clearer idea of what the Newport Ship looked like when she sailed up the River Usk
Project leader Kate Hunter

Some of the grant - which will fund the team for about two years - will be used the make information about the ship "fun and interactive", the HLF said.

Money will also be spent on a "community memories" project to record the experiences of modern seafarers.

Project leader Kate Hunter said her team were "delighted" to secure the money.

She told the BBC News website: "We know where we are going for the next two-and-a-half years.

"At the end of this process we will have a much clearer idea of what the Newport Ship looked like when she sailed up the River Usk."

The funding is in addition to the 3.5m Welsh Assembly Government grant awarded when the ship was found.

The next stage of the project will cost 1.4m. Just over half of this will be paid for by the lottery grant.

'International treasure'

The rest will come from the remainder of the assembly government money and funding from Newport City Council, Ms Hunter said.

Jennifer Stewart, HLF manager for Wales said: "This is one of the most important archaeological finds in Wales, and it is essential that we help record and conserve the ship for future generations so they can enjoy and learn about this remarkable find.

"Unveiling its past will provide us with a real insight into our maritime heritage."

Councillor Bob Bright, leader of Newport council, said the ship was a "national and international treasure".

He added: "This decision will enable the restoration and conservation project to continue its excellent progress and we look forward to identifying a continuing string of funding so people from across the country can enjoy the project's eventual completion.

The 15th century vessel is the only intact medieval ship tofound in Britain, and is widely thought to be one of the most important archaeological finds of recent times.

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