Lighthouse ‘may lose its red and white look’

Beachy Head lighthouse

Beachy Head lighthouse

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THE ICONIC Beachy Head Lighthouse is in need of a facelift – but there is no money in the pot to pay for it.

Trinity House, which owns and maintains the landmark, says it will continue to maintain the light at the top but it is not necessary to maintain its red and white appearance.

A spokesperson said this week, “The 2010 Aids to Navigation Review and resulting user consultation process conducted by Trinity House discovered that Beachy Head lighthouse was no longer required to act as a daymark, the reason for its red and white striped appearance.

“However, Beachy Head continues to provide a vital service to mariners and we still consider it necessary to keep the light operational.

“Unfortunately as a ‘user pays’ organisation we cannot justify the expenditure on maintaining the current red and white appearance.”

The news has prompted Eastbourne’s MP Stephen Lloyd to launch a campaign to get the funding needed for the facelift.

He said he was saddened to hear there were no funds to re-paint the tower, which is slipping into a state of disrepair.

Mr Lloyd said he wanted to ensure the Beachy Head Lighthouse is recognised as part of the national heritage and its upkeep and maintenance is secured as part of the programme maintained by the General Lighthouse Authority.

He said, “The Beachy Head Lighthouse is one of the most iconic images across the country.

“I am lobbying to ensure this building, with its characteristic red and white bands is preserved and maintained in the future.

“Currently there is no provision for the re-painting of the lighthouse, which is showing signs of deterioration with paintwork peeling off.”

Mr Lloyd is lobbying Rear Admiral Sir Jeremy de Halpert from the General Lighthouse Authority, who has promised to investigate ways to achieve the required funding.

He said, “The people of Eastbourne and Willingdon have a fond attachment to the Beachy Head lighthouse which is an important part of the beauty of our coastline, and we will jealously protect this important symbol of our beautiful coastline.

“I will explore all avenues to ensure that the funding to preserve the structure and appearance of our lighthouse is secured for future generations to enjoy.”