Future of Scott's Antarctic hut secured

Fundraisers have hit their target in a multimillion-pound campaign to save legendary explorer Captain Robert Scott's Antarctic hut.

A hundred years to the day from Cpt Scott's arrival in Antarctica for his final expedition, the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) announced its coffers were full to ensure the conservation of the Ross Sea Hut.

It was erected in 1911 at Cape Evans on Ross Island.

Scott and four companions reached the South Pole in January 1912 – a few weeks after the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his party got there. Scott and his team all died on the return journey.

The hut has survived but warm summers followed by freezing winters meant it needed urgent repairs. It contains more than 8,000 artefacts dating from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, making it a treasured time capsule.

A project to preserve Scott's hut and the three others which survive from those days in the Ross Sea area was launched in 2002 by the Princess Royal.

An initial 3.5m was raised, partly for planning and preparations, and partly to complete all the work needed on the hut at Cape Royds used by Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1907-09 expedition.

The focus then moved on to Scott's hut, for which a further 3.5m was needed. Yesterday it was announced the sum was secured and the conservation work – managed and carried out by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, a sister organisation to the UKAHT – was underway.

Philippa Foster Back, chairman of UKAHT, and whose grandfather was part of Scott's expedition, said: "I can't thank enough everyone who has been involved and all who have given –now matter how much or how little.

"It shows just how much the British people cherish the memory of Captain Scott that they have put their hands in their pockets to save a small wooden building on the other side of the world that few of them will ever visit in person."