Thursday, February 03, 2005


"Cutty Sark" saved as major lottery grants handed out


24 Hour Museum
By Gordon Scott
January 26, 2005

The Cutty Sark is an iconic feature of the London
landscape, but is in desperate need of conservation
work. © Cutty Sark Trust.

The famous clipper ship Cutty Sark, which is in desperate need of extensive conservation, has been given a life-saving grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"The Heritage Lottery Fund has effectively saved the ship" said Richard Doughty, the Chief Executive of the Cutty Sark Trust. "Without this funding we would be looking at its closure in 2007 and perhaps even her demolition."

The two-stage £12.95m grant represents half of the £25m needed to conserve and regenerate the last remaining fast clipper ship at her Greenwich home.

The grant will be given in two parts, a £1.2m development grant and the pledge of £11.75m for when £12m in match-funding has been raised. Overall it marks a breakthrough in the bid to keep the ship afloat.

Developed with architects Grimshaw, the groundbreaking project will not only conserve the fabric of the ship, but ensure she maintains her status as a world class tourist attraction. A revolutionary new support system will see the Cutty Sark raised and suspended in a Kevlar web, which will preserve the shape and enable visitors to walk underneath the famous ship.

A graphic impression of what the conserved
Cutty Sark will look like. © Cutty Sark Trust.

Built in Dumbarton in 1869, the Cutty Sark takes its name from the Scottish phrase for a short shift dress, which features in the famous Robbie Burns poem Tam O’ Shanter. A boy, Tam, sees witches dancing in the wood, one of whom, Nannie is wearing a very revealing cutty sark.

Nannie became the figurehead on the newly built ship and fittingly, over 100 years later, the HLF grant was given on Burn’s Night, January 25.

"We believe the Heritage Lottery Fund decision reflects the feeling of the nation for this much loved ship," said Maurice de Rohan OBE, Chairman of the Cutty Sark Trust and Agent General for The State of South Australia. "But we are not home and dry yet, we must match their funding for the project to go ahead, and we have one year to get pledges for the other £12m. It’s time to visit Cutty Sark again."

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