The Hampshire based Tudor warship Mary Rose has been given a £21 million lifeline by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money will enable further conservation work on King Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, and enable the ship and thousands of artefacts raised from the sea bed to be housed under one museum roof for the first time in Portsmouth.

Dame Liz Forgan, chairman of the HLF, said: ''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.

''Since then, more than seven million have come to marvel at it and learn more about its fascinating history.

''This major Heritage Lottery Fund investment will help convert years of painstaking archaeological endeavour into an amazing living history experience."

The purpose-built museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will bring together the ship and more than 19,000 rare items recovered with the ship, ranging from clothes and bows and arrows to pig bones.

Currently less than 6% of these objects are on display because of a lack of space at the Mary Rose Museum, but with the new premises 70% will be viewable by the public.

The funding will also enable the final part of the conservation of the 16th century hull, which involves its drying out. The hull which has been sprayed with water and special chemicals since it was lifted from the water more than 25 years ago.

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said that the funding was a ''last chance" for the country's oldest ship, whose future would have been in doubt if the money had not been granted.

He explained that funding was necessary to pay for the drying process, to begin in 2011, which will prevent the hull from contorting and eventually collapsing.

He said the current building housing the ship was a temporary structure coming to the end of its life, meaning new premises were essential if the ship was to remain a visitor attraction.