Towering achievement

Highest heights: Work being carried out to blast and then re-clad Blackpool Tower
Highest heights: Work being carried out to blast and then re-clad Blackpool Tower
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It’s a far cry from the famed black and white images of workmen straddling rolled sections of Blackpool Tower as it went up in the late 1800s - this is how work is done on the structure in modern day.

These exclusive images show the engineering work which attraction bosses hope will be completed by the end of this year.

Work has been underway on the 518ft Tower since 2008, to repair the structure of the iconic building.

Engineers must don protective body armour to blast water at the metal to strip it back to the metalwork before the bare steelwork can be recoated, or replaced where needed, in the Tower’s own special red.

Now there is an end in sight to the unsightly scaffolding which has dominated views of the Tower for years.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “I am as keen as everybody for the work to be finished and can’t wait for it to be unveiled again.

“The work that is being carried out will help to protect the Tower for many years to come and will mean that any more repairs in the near future should be smaller in scale.”

A spokesman for contractors MPM North West Ltd said: “We hope that we will complete the repair work on the Tower’s structure towards the end of 2015 and, as a
 result, we will be able to remove the scaffolding.”

It’s a project that is costing £6million for owners Blackpool Council, compared to the £290,000 cost of building the Tower 120 years ago, but is set to secure its future.

Coun Cain added: “The Tower is Blackpool’s largest asset, both physically and economically, which is why it is so important to make sure that the job is carried out thoroughly and to a high standard.

“That has made the job a lengthy one but it is important that the finished product is as good as possible.

“It’s incredible to think just how much the Tower has improved as an attraction in the last five years.

“The brand new Tower Eye and 4D cinema, as well as recent improvements to the front arches make it one of the most versatile and top attractions in the country, let alone the North West.”

And there’s work going on inside the Tower this month too as cleaners and engineers work on the attractions annual ‘spring clean’.

Among the tasks being carried out are sanding and polishing the Tower Ballroom’s famous sprung floor and cleaning the chandeliers, to restore them to their full glittering glory.

The floor’s repairs have now been completed, with the lighting features next .on the list for the maintenance team.