McCartney backs UK conservation
Sir Paul hailed the importance of conservation for future generations
Sir Paul McCartney is adding his voice to The Conservation Awards by signing a deal to sponsor the them until 2009.
The awards set out to honour excellence and innovation in preserving the UK's cultural heritage.
Sir Paul, 62, agreed to fund the awards after meeting 2002 winner Ian Clark and hailed conservationists' work.
The singer stressed the importance of conserving our cultural heritage "for us, and our children after us, to learn from and enjoy".
"People don't realise how lucky we are to have such brilliant conservation specialists in this country," said Sir Paul. "I've seen them in action.
"The Conservation Awards draw attention to those wonderful skills, and I'm delighted to help ensure they continue."
The awards are open to organisations across the heritage field, in museums, libraries, historic buildings and on private conservation projects.
Ian Clark was the joint winner of the 2002 Conservation Award for his restoration of the Royal Navy's first submarine, Holland 1.
Winners of the top prize receive £15,000.
David Leigh, director of the UK Institute for Conservation, welcomed Sir Paul's involvement with the awards, which are in their eighth year.
"The Awards have recognised the triumphs of conservation over the past decade, and Sir Paul's generous support will help us celebrate many more," said Mr Leigh.