The repainting of Beachy Head Lighthouse got underway on Saturday morning marking the end of a two-year fundraising campaign.
Specialist contractors from Hailsham-based restoration and coating experts Sussex Blast Cleaning were taken out to the landmark on Friday and the following morning, the team could be seen jet washing the top of the tower.
Over the next three weeks all the exterior surfaces will be fully decorated and protected using a range of specially formulated marine and offshore coatings jointly donated by UK manufacturer Crown Paints and parent company Hempel AS in Denmark.
The companies became involved when one of Crown’s key customers, Eastbourne-based Brewers, brought the Keep the Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes campaign to their attention.
More than £27,000 was raised via the campaign, established when lighthouse owners, Trinity House, announced the red and white day marker stripes were no longer deemed essential for navigation purposes and redecorating expenditure could not be justified.
Sussex Blast Cleaning boss Martin Griffin said, “I’ve selected a team of local men, specially trained in abseiling, restoration work and the application of complex coating systems. It’s certainly going to be a very challenging job, and it won’t be easy living in such cramped quarters either, but it’s a once in lifetime opportunity to make our mark on a building we all know and love, so we’re all really keen to be involved.”
CountyClean Environmental Services is supplying fresh water to the 140 ft lighthouse and several tonnes have been taken out by boat and pumped on to the landing stage at the lighthouse.
Local boat owner Lance Brown and his vessel Excalibur III have been transporting all the necessary supplies and workers out to the lighthouse in recent weeks.
Campaigners were up at Beachy Head with a BBC film crew on Saturday morning as the restoration work got underway.