New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust

  • Commonwealth TAE Hut, Scott Base 
  • Grant Awarded: £40,000 (over two years)
  • Board approved: October 2015 


The Commonwealth TAE Hut at Scott Base is the sole know surviving intact building in Antarctica associated with Sir Vivian Fuch’s British led expedition. The site has been designed a Historical Site & Monument. The conservation plan for the building was launched earlier this year by the NZ Prime Minister.

The grant does not cover the entire cost of the conservation plan, which is estimated to be £400,000. Works involved are removal of asbestos, conservation of the building fabric and conservation of the artefact collection at their conservation laboratory at Scott Base.

They are also ensuring that funding is in place to enable maintenance moving forward for the next 20 years.

The grant fulfills UKAHT’s goal to ‘preserve and enhance the unique physical heritage of human endeavour in Antarctica to the highest standards, in the UK, in Antarctica and beyond’.


Nestled alongside Scott Base, is Hillary's Hut - a small building that's played a big role in New Zealand's history.

Hillary's Hut, also known as Hut A or the Trans-Antarctic Expedition (TAE) Hut, was the first building constructed at Scott Base. It was built by a team led by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1957 and it was from here that Sir Edmund later led an historic expedition to the South Pole. In fact, the Hut was Hillary's home as he wintered over on the Ice in 1957.

Currently there is an international team of ten working in Antarctica. Their main conservation programme is the extensive conservation of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition hut, the foundation of New Zealand’s Scott Base and the only building intact from that expedition.

Following the launch of the conservation plan for the site by the New Zealand Prime Minister last year, significant planning and scheduling work has been undertaken. With all permits in place the major works has commenced. The most challenging aspect of the project iss the removal of asbestos lining from the building which is currently underway. The building will be waterproofed, its leaking roof fixed, the building repainted in the original colours and the artefact collection conserved. The fundraising target of approx. NZ$1M is nearly in reach and the vintage tractor trip, Expedition South attracted great media interest and support.

The hope is to complete the major conservation works by 20 January 2017 which will mark the 60th anniversary of the conservation of the building and the establishment of Scott Base.


We support UK and overseas polar institutions and individuals with grant aid towards outreach and education projects that fulfil the mission of the Trust.

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Press Enquiries

We are very keen to promote the important heritage work that we do, telling the story of life in Antarctica both past and present. If you are interested in running a story about us, using our images or films or want to discuss an interview or potential collaboration opportunity we would love to hear from you.  Please contact either Sarah or Lewis at Limewash to discuss your requirements or +44 (0)1223 813 557.