Hailsham firm takes on ambitious Kew Gardens project

A Hailsham firm is joining a major restoration project in Kew Gardens
A Hailsham firm is joining a major restoration project in Kew Gardens

A Hailsham business has taken on an ambitious project to help restore the world's largest surviving Victorian glasshouse.

Sussex Blast Cleaning, based on the Station Road Industrial Estate in Hailsham, was appointed to help restore the Temperate House in Kew Gardens.

The firm, which has previously worked on the restoration and repainting of Beachy Head Lighthouse, joins a five-year restoration project at the historic site.

Managing director Martin Griffin said: "Having been built in 1860, it certainly is in need of major restoration. Being part of a five-year project and working on a World Unesco Heritage site, it gives us great pride to be involved with such a detailed and valuable building in terms of heritage and its amazing historical plant collection.

"The large soaring iron arches and pillars typify the type of structures we really have vast experience of working on. We look forward to the challenge it provides as well as the long lasting restoration that will be enjoyed by the public for years to come.”

Opened in 1863, the Temperate House is the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world. Since August 2013, Kew has been undertaking a vital five-year restoration project on the building and its surrounding landscape

Sussex Blast Cleaning is no stranger to restoration projects having won the contract to restore the Cutty Sark after it was damaged by fire in May 2007.

That project lasted more than four years and involved working on different sections of the ship. The main body of the ship was completed in 2010 and Mr Griffin was at the re-opening of the Cutty Sark in April 2012 by the Queen and Prince Philip.

They also worked on the Beachy Head lighthouse restoration project.

A team of specialists from the firm lived on the lighthouse for several weeks while repainting the lighthouse's iconic red and white stripes.

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