London, Jan.26 : Two of Britain's oldest and best-loved ships, the Cutty Sark and Mary Rose, have been thrown a 31-million-pound Lotto lifeline.
The Heritage Lottery Fund gave an emergency grant of 10-million-pounds for the Cutty Sark, which was ravaged by a fire in May 2007.
The remaining 21-million-pounds will help build a new Mary Rose Museum to display the thousands of artifacts from Henry VII's flagship under one roof for the first time.
The funding to the Cutty Sark Trust is an "urgent addition" to an HLF grant given in September 2006 of 11.75-million-pounds for the conservation of the 138-year-old ship.
Once restored, the vessel will be lifted three meters above its current position, allowing visitors to walk underneath its uniquely-shaped hull.
A purpose-built museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will bring together the Mary Rose, raised from the seabed in 1982, and more than 19,000 rare items recovered with the ship.
The Sun quoted Dame Liz Forgan, chairman of the HLF, as saying: "The Mary Rose is an amazing time capsule and one of our most precious heritage icons.Many of us remember the moment when the ship was found and subsequently raised from the Solent's sea bed. This major Heritage Lottery Fund investment will help convert years of painstaking archaeological endeavour into an amazing living history experience."
The funding will also enable the final part of the conservation of the 16th century hull, which involves a special drying out process, to begin in 2011.
John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said the funding was a "last chance" for the country's oldest ship, whose future was in doubt.
David Starkey, historian and broadcaster, added: "The Mary Rose is one of the most important objects in English History. It's up there with the Doomsday Book, the Magna Carta and Hampton Court. Indeed I would go further. The Mary Rose is the English Pompeii or Herculaneum; all Tudor life is there."