THE CAMPAIGN to save the Beachy Head Lighthouse stripes has been given a £10,000 cash boost from Eastbourne’s council.
The money will go into the bank account specially set up to raise £25,000 for a specialist team to repaint the iconic red and white stripes around the tower.
Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt this week handed over the £10,000 cheque to Annemarie Field, the Herald’s chief reporter and one of the campaign organisers.
He said, “The council is delighted to have made this donation to such a worthwhile cause.
“The Beachy Head Lighthouse and the red and white stripes are part of Eastbourne’s heritage and tourism culture and are recognised all over the world.
“To do nothing was not an option so the council would like to congratulate the Facebook group, the Herald and Eastbourne Rotary AM for running with this campaign and securing the future of the lighthouse.”
The total amount now stands at almost £14,000 and campaigners are busy applying for grants and funding to boost the coffers.
Tomorrow (Saturday) almost 100 people will take part in the Lighthouse Challenge, a charity walk out to the lighthouse during low tide with money going to the appeal and a donation being made to a children’s charity.
The Lighthouse Challenge starts at 4pm from the kiosk at the foot of the Downs by St Bede’s School with walkers making their way down to the beach over rocks and walking along the beach to the light tower and back again.
It has been organised by the Keep the Stripes group and the cost per adult is £6 or £2.50 for 12-18-year-olds.
It will be marshalled by stewards and the Birling Gap Safety Rescue Boat, Coastguards and RNLI are also on alert should any walkers get into difficulty.
The Keep the Stripes Campaign was launched by a Facebook group last year along with the Eastbourne Herald and Eastbourne Rotary AM after Trinity House, which owns the lighthouse, revealed it could not justify the cost of repainting the red and white stripes and it should return to its natural granite grey colour.
Street collections have been held along with other fundraising events and local firm Sussex Blast Cleaning has offered to do the repainting at cost price with Eastbourne boat owners pledging to provide safety vessels during the month long refurbishment.
Further information on the Lighthouse Challenge and the campaign group is available by visiting www.keepthestripes.org