Lighthouse appeal closes in on target

The campaign to save the Beachy Head Lighthouse is just £900 short of reaching its target to pay for the iconic stripes to be repainted.

The appeal was given a £2,000 boost from the Eastbourne Hospitality Association this week and campaigners say they are confident they will have raised the £27,000 required for the red and white stripes to be repainted early next spring.

It is exactly a year since the Save Our Stripes campaign was launched after Trinity House which owns the lighthouse revealed it could not justify the cost of repainting it – as the majority of boat owners no longer use it for navigational purposes instead relying on satellite systems – and it would have to return to its natural granite grey colour.

Since then Crown Paints with the help of Brewers in Eastbourne has donated the red and white paint and various events have been held to boost the coffers including a walk around the lighthouse, a colouring competition and street collections.

The campaign was given a further boost by Eastbourne Borough Council which donated £10,000 to the appeal, £1,000 from the Duke of Devonshire, £1,000 from the Beachy Head Countryside Centre and support from celebrities including comedian Eddie Izzard who pledged to match pound for pound money donated up to £2,000.

Individuals have also sent in cheques or paid money into the dedicated account at the Natwest Bank.

Support has also come in from far away places including donations from former Eastbournians now living in Canada and the appeal was also featured on BBC One’s Country File programme after Matt Baker filmed at the landmark and met campaigners Shirley Moth, Cheryl Kassebi and Annemarie Field.

This week Jerome Farrow, the chair of Eastbourne Hospitality Association handed over a cheque for £2,000 and said hoteliers were pleased to support the campaign.