A MAJOR fundraising campaign is to be launched next week to raise thousands of pounds to pay for the Beachy Head Lighthouse stripes to be repainted.
Residents and visitors will be asked donate to the appeal so the red and white stripes can be repainted next year.
Trinity House, which owns the lighthouse and is responsible for maintaining its structure, has agreed to work with the Facebook campaign group, the Eastbourne Herald and the Eastbourne AM Rotary Club to keep the stripes.
Trinity House does not have the funds for the repainting job, but several companies have offered to donate the special industrial paint and the money raised during the appeal will pay for specially trained painters to carry out the job.
A collection in Eastbourne town centre is planned in the next few months and a bank account is being set up by the Rotary club so people can donate.
This week, the lighthouse campaign was given the seal of approval by Eastbourne Borough Council. Leader of the council David Tutt said, “I’m delighted that so many groups and individuals are taking an active role in the campaign to re-paint Eastbourne’s famous lighthouse.
“I’d like to congratulate Annemarie Field at the Eastbourne Herald, the Facebook group and Eastbourne Am Rotary for their great efforts in generating so much positive local interest.
“The council fully supports this initiative and will coordinate our support with the MP Stephen Lloyd and the other campaign team leaders to help achieve the freshly painted lighthouse we all want to see.
“With regard to the fundraising efforts, I’ve spoken to council officers who will be happy to provide guidance on how best these activities can be organised.
“Let’s hope that with the great weight of popular support in the town, this much loved landmark will be returned to its former glory.”
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who first revealed there was no money in the Trinity House coffers for the paint job and wants the organisation to rethink, is also involved in the campaign and very supportive. He said, “I have been contacted by numerous people locally and from all over the world who are also keen to see the Beachy Head Lighthouse retain its stripes.
“I am due to meet the deputy master of Trinity House, responsible for the maintenance of the lighthouse, to urge them to live up to their responsibilities to maintain the lighthouse.
“If unsuccessful, I will be taking an active role in the fundraising campaign, headed by the Herald, the Facebook group ‘Keep the Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes’ and the Rotary AM Eastbourne club, which has picked up on my initiative to ensure this renowned landmark keeps its stripes.”
nFull details in next week’s Herald.