A CAMPAIGN to keep Beachy Head Lighthouse’s iconic stripes is gaining momentum.
More than 2,000 people have now joined a Facebook group and offers of help to repaint the landmark are coming in thick and fast.
The Facebook group is planning a meeting to be held locally for all those interested in helping and the AM Rotary Club has also pledged its support with fundraising. Local scaffolding firms, Woods and Hailsham Scaffolding, local boatowners and Eastbourne Coastguards team have also all offered advice and support.
The campaign was launched after Trinity House announced last month it could no longer afford to meet the £45,000 cost of repainting the stripes and planned to let the lighthouse return to its natural grey granite colour.
The organisation says it will continue to maintain the light at the top of the building but the red and white stripes are no longer needed as a day mark as so many boatowners now have satellite navigation systems on board.
Despite appeals to Trinity House, the lighthouse authority is refusing to reconsider its cost-cutting decision but a spokesperson said since the story hit the headlines around the world, various organisations have come forward with offers of help and promised donations.
One of the administrators of the Facebook group, Keep Our Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes!, Shirley Moth, said she hoped to hold a meeting soon for all the interested parties.
“We are hoping to have more details soon on how we can fundraise or collect donations to help save the distinctive red and white stripes on Beachy Head Lighthouse. Trinity House has stated it would cost £45,000 and it is unable to justify spending its users’ subs on this. The paint job would last for 10 years.
“We have 2,000 plus members at the moment so if everyone can spread the word we can hopefully can raise awareness that fundraising will start soon and then collect the amount in no time at all. It will be worth it to stop this iconic Sussex building fading to grey.”
In previous years the lighthouse was painted by Hampshire based firm Vertical Technology using Hempel Industrial Paint.
A spokesperson at Trinity House said earlier this month, “We will seriously consider any offers to repaint the lighthouse as long as they meet the exacting standards that are required.”