The parents of Madeleine McCann have been given fresh hope in the search for their daughter thanks to a £154,000 funding boost from the government.
More than £11 million has been spent on the ten-year long hunt for Madeleine, but it was set to come to an end this week after the Metropolitan Police admitted the investigation had run out of money.
The Home Office has today announced it will plough some £154,000 to keep the search going for another six months.
The Home Office has given the Met Police more money to continue to search for Madeleine McCann
Her parents Kate and and Gerry (pictured in 2010), said they were ‘extremely thankful to both the Home Office and Scotland Yard for the continued funding’
A spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann added: ‘They are very encouraged that there remains work to be done that requires this extra budget.’
The Home Office announced it was ploughing more money into Operation Grange, the official investigation, at the request of Met Police.
The McCann’s had feared the inquiry could have been shelved on Saturday.
Three-year-old Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz in May 2007.
She had been left alone sleeping with her younger twin siblings while her parents were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant.
Three-year-old Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz in May 2007
Madeleine had been left alone sleeping with her younger twin siblings while her parents were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant
The McCann’s (pictured here in 2012), had feared the inquiry could have been shelved on Saturday
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Following an application from the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office has confirmed funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2018.
‘As with all applications, the resources required are reviewed regularly and careful consideration is given before any funding is allocated.’
So far Operation Grange has cost the taxpayer £11.2 million. It was launched in May 2011 on the orders of then-Prime Minister David Cameron.
The team was given an extra £85,000 in April to last until the end of this month from a Special Grants Committee.
But it has so far has failed to unearth any significant new clues.
Medical worker Kate, a former GP, and heart doctor Gerry, both 49, from Rothley in Leicestershire, knew there was a chance extra funds may not be granted.
Their spokesman Mr Mitchell added: ‘They are grateful to all those officers who are still working on the case and are actively looking for Madeleine. They appreciate everything the police have done and are doing to get a resolution after all this time.
‘It gives Kate and Gerry hope that after more than 10 years they may finally find out what happened to their daughter.’
The team searching for Madeleine was given an extra £85,000 in April to last until the end of this month from a Special Grants Committee
Kate and Gerry have never given up hope that their daughter could still be found alive
Madeleine would now be 14 and the Catholic secondary school where she would have started her GCSEs last week still holds a place for her
Detectives on the inquiry, headed by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, say there was ‘still important work to do and focused lines of investigation to be pursued.’
A force spokesperson said: ‘The inquiry has not reached a conclusion and we’re continuing with focus and determination. There are no immediate plans to reduce officer numbers further at this time.’
Kate and Gerry have never given up hope that their daughter could still be found alive.
She would now be 14 and the Catholic secondary school where she would have started her GCSEs last week still holds a place for her.
In May the couple – who have 12-year-old twins Sean and Amelie – endured the painful 10th anniversary of Maddie’s abduction.
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who retired in February, told last summer how his officers were chasing up one ‘last throw of the dice’ lead in their painstaking inquiries.
Before stepping down he said: ‘Either way we want to try and end the torture that Madeleine’s parents are going through.’
He added: ‘I can’t be absolutely confident we will resolve it, 100 per cent. But we’ve made some really good progress on the lines of inquiry and I think we have a really good chance.’