£35,000 fund for vital repair to The Tower

Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower
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Blackpool Council is to set aside £35,000 for vital repairs to Blackpool Tower, after surveys revealed steel joists at the base of the landmark are badly corroded.

Work will begin imminently on the repairs to steelwork beneath Bank Hey Street, after the damage was identified around two years ago.

But town hall chiefs say they hope to keep any disruption to a minimum.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure on the council, said: “This is important work, the need for which was identified around two years ago as part of the work we’re doing to safeguard and improve the building, and its structure in the long term.

“The work is essential, and, as such, will be funded by Blackpool Council.

“We expect disruption to be kept to a minimum.”

A report to councillors says the basement of The Tower extends beyond the visible external walls by approximately 500mm.

It adds: “This asphalt covered strip is supported by corrugated steel plate, in turn supported by a steel joist.

“The corrugated steel plate is heavily corroded and is providing little or no support.

“In addition to this, a number of the steel joists are also corroded.”

Blackpool-based building company F Parkinson has been appointed by the council to carry out the work, following a tendering process.

Iain Hawkins, head of Merlin entertainments in Blackpool, which operates The Tower, welcomed the decision to carry out the work.

He said: “This work has to be done, so we are pleased the council is getting on with it.

“We will have to put up with some building work, but nearly all of it will be done before the start of the season.”

Work to repair the main famous steel structure of The Tower, which began in 2008, is due to be completed by the end of this year.

Scaffolding has been wrapped around the landmark for a number of years while engineers strip back the metalwork so it can be recoated, or replaced where necessary, in The Tower’s own special red colour.