A MAJOR fundraising campaign has been launched today (Friday October 14) to raise thousands of pounds to meet the cost of repainting the iconic stripes at Beachy Head Lighthouse.
The appeal – to raise around £20,000 – is the brainchild of Eastbourne Rotary AM, the Keep the Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes group and the Eastbourne Herald.
It is being launched after lighthouse owner Trinity House announced earlier this year it could not afford to repaint the red and white stripes and the light tower would have to return to its natural granite grey colour.
Trinity House said because boats now have high tech navigational systems to negotiate around the infamous cliffs and notorious currents, the day warning stripes are no longer essential.
But because of concern among residents and visitors and support from Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Stephen Lloyd, Trinity House has agreed to work with the Save Our Stripes group and all the money raised will pay for specialist teams to repaint the lighthouse next spring.
Special industrial paint is being donated and it is estimated the cost of the repaint job, which could take six weeks, will be around £20,000.
A special bank account has been set up for people to donate and campaigners will be out in Eastbourne town centre asking people to donate on Friday November 18 and the following week on Friday November 25.
Shirley Moth from the Facebook group Keep Our Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes, said, “I’m very excited the campaign is finally taking off. I have had such positive feedback from everyone I have spoken to that I am sure we will raise the funds necessary to keep this iconic Sussex landmark’s red and white stripes.”
Martin Wellings from Eastbourne Rotary AM, which has set up the Eastbourne AM Rotary Club Lighthouse account at the NatWest Eastbourne town centre branch, said, “It is great that so many people feel the same way and have offered their support. Beachy Head lighthouse is as much an icon of Eastbourne as the pier and seafront and leaving the paintwork to decay makes as much sense as letting the pier rot.”
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who first raised the issue of the light house not being painted, said that while he was disappointed Trinity House could not pay for the cosmetic facelift for the tower, he fully supported the fundraising efforts.
He said, “The fundraising starts now and I am confident we will find the money to ensure our stunning Beachy Head Lighthouse is repainted with the sharpest and brightest stripes imaginable.”
Annemarie Field at the Eastbourne Herald said campaigners hoped residents, visitors and businesses would dig deep and support the campaign.
“The Herald will be showing the running total each week and we are also hoping schools and other organisations across the town will come up with their own fundraising ideas to save our stripes.”
HOW TO DONATE
Donations can be paid in at any NatWest Branch. The account details are Eastbourne AM Rotary Club Lighthouse account, sort code 524100, account number 40384616.
Donations can also be taken in to the Eastbourne Gazette and Herald offices at 11 Lismore Road (behind Debenhams), PST Travel in Grove Road and Arlington Road Medical Practice in Arlington Road.