Thursday, July 27, 2006

 

Lottery strikes blow to Mary Rose dream

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Portsmouth Today
July 27, 2006


Plans to build a world-class museum for Henry VIII's flagship have been left in disarray after a £13.5m lottery bid was thrown out.

Bosses at the Heritage Lottery Fund decided not to stump up over half the cost of the new Mary Rose museum.

The rest of the cash was being raised by the Trust.

They claim the proposed £23m building in Portsmouth's historic dockyard won't live up to high expectations.

It is a hammer blow to enthusiasts at the Mary Rose Trust, who were quietly confident of securing the handout, and a slap in the face for Prince Charles, the trust's president.

It is also a major blow for the city's hopes of increasing the historic dockyard's pull as a major tourist attraction.

Now the charity faces a race against time to draw up fresh plans if it is to stand any chance of getting the museum open by 2011, the 500th anniversary of the ship's first sea-trip.

Chief executive John Lippiett will seek an urgent meeting with lottery officials to pinpoint exactly where the ambitious museum project went wrong.

He said: 'The Mary Rose project has only got this far with the enthusiastic support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Liz Forgan, who chairs the HLF, said: 'The Mary Rose is one of the most important pieces of our nation's heritage. The trust rightly considers that such a treasure deserves a truly world-class museum. Unfortunately the project as it currently stands is not yet considered capable of delivering that vision.'


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