Budget for conservation of historic ship jumps by nearly a half after May blaze

The cost of restoring the Cutty Sark ship in Greenwich has risen by £10m after fire hit the site in May. The budget has now jumped to £35m, leaving bosses with a £16m shortfall.

The ship had been due to re-open to the public in November 2008 but the project will now take an extra year to complete and additional funding is desperately needed, the Cutty Sark Trust said yesterday.

Stephen Archer, director of communications for the Trust, said: "Whilst the ship is of course insured, in order to get the project back on track, the funds required will go considerably beyond the insurance payout.

"Currently that shortfall is estimated at £16 million which includes the additional cost of the fire, funds to get the project back on track and the additional professional costs of labour, materials, loss of earning, inflations.

"We are therefore renewing our appeal to people everywhere to donate funds to help us preserve this glorious ship for future generations.''

Work is due to restart on the project next month. Police are still investigating the fire.