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Youmeheshe wins major boost for Cutty Sark scheme

Youmeheshe Architects' Cutty Sark scheme has secured more than £11 million in lottery money, adding to the practice's growing reputation.

The scheme is a major conservation project and the £11.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will see the Cutty Sark, one of the UK's most famous vessels, preserved for years to come.

The scheme, designed in association with Grimshaw Architects, aims to lift the ship three metres above her current position, allowing visitors to walk under the clipper's uniquely-shaped hull.

Project architect Simon Beames claimed: 'The sculptural form of the hull and its relationship to the dry berth will create one of the most incredible and memorable museum spaces in the world.'

Currently in a state of deterioration, the vessel will be brought back to life via electrolysis, mechanical cleaning and preventative coatings, which will halt the physical erosion of the world's last tea-clipper.

A new support structure in the form of a glass bubble attached to the ship's waterline will give year-round protection to visitors in the dry berth and to the lower hull itself.

The space created under the ship will be used for education facilities, a café and a shop.

The news will come as a kick in the teeth for Wilkinson Eyre, who tried to secure more than £13 million of HLF cash two months ago for its Mary Rosescheme.

by Richard Vaughan

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