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Cutty Sark in 12m Lotto Lifeline
23 Sep 2006

The Cutty Sark, the world's sole surviving tea clipper, will receive almost 12 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), it has been announced.

The 137-year-old ship, which resides in dry dock in Greenwich, London, will now undergo a massive restoration project that will see the vessel being lifted three metres above her current position.

Visitors will then be able to walk straight under the ship's uniquely-shaped hull to access education facilities and a cafe, according to the Cutty Sark Trust.

The grant of 11.75 million has been announced on National Lottery Day to highlight the impact that Lottery funding has had on the UK.

Carole Souter, director of 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, such as mechanical cleaning and applying preventative coatings, can take place.

The Cutty Sark is currently said to be in a serious state of deterioration.

A glass "bubble" will also be attached at the ship's waterline to give year-round protection to visitors in the dry berth and to the lower hull itself.

Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said this was "exactly the sort of project" that the National Lottery was designed to support and that the ship was "a special part of our history which had delighted and inspired young and old for many years, and an essential part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site."

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