This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Visitors can


explore the restored decks and crew accommodation


The glass canopy around the ship creates a space to be used for events


Bob Bewley


Director of operations, Heritage Lottery Fund


When did you fi rst become involved in the Cutty Sark project? I have personally been


involved since July 2007, but the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been involved since 2004.


What were the main challenges with funding after the fi re? The key challenge was ascertaining the real impact of the fi re in terms of costs, and ensuring these could be realistically assessed then dealt with. In addition the fi nancial crisis meant that maintaining cost required all the partners in the project, the Cutty Sark Trust, HLF, the National Maritime Museum, DCMS, Royal Greenwich Borough Council and all the other funders, to work together so that the vision for the ship could be achieved.


ISSUE 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012


What criteria do you look for when you are deciding on funding? On a project of this scale and importance we’re looking for huge impact and a transformation in approach to our under- standing of such an important part of the UK’s heritage. There was no doubt that raising the ship almost 3m met


those criteria, although this approach wasn't without its critics.


What in your opinion are the real triumphs of the venture? The reality matches the vision and the ship will be in a very good state of repair for at least another 50 years and we hope longer. The Cutty Sark is already attracting huge interest as a place to visit and experience life on board an ocean- going sailing ship. Lord Sterling, one of the driving forces behind its suc- cess, is very keen that every visiting schoolchild is inspired and will remem- ber the visit for the rest of their lives. I fi rst visited Cutty Sark many years


ago, when I was 11, and although it wasn’t ‘in the air’ it was still wonder- ful to go on the weather deck and imagine life on the open seas.


How would you sum up the importance of the project to the UK's heritage? The Cutty Sark is one of those endur- ing aspects of our past, which has a wonderful story to tell – not just of technological innovation but also of worldwide trade and the endeavours of all those who sailed on her. As the fastest ship afl oat in 1869 she has been described as the Concorde of her time and there are certainly important parallels.


How would you describe the working relationship between the HLF and the Cutty Sark project team? It was a very constructive, open, hon- est and therefore at times robust relationship. HLF attempted to be as co-operative as possible without either compromising the vision and aims of the project (as it is as much a conservation project as a capital works project) or increasing any risk for those funding it – especially the Lottery players’ contributions. ●


Read Leisure Management online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital 49


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