Funding needed to revamp the oldest brick lighthouse in Europe

Posted: 17/07/2012

Leasowe Lighthouse is located on the Wirral in the North West of England and is the oldest surviving brick built lighthouse in Europe. It was built 249 years ago out of 660,000 hand made bricks. The Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse are trying to raise £200,000 over the next five years to pay for desperately needed maintenance work on the lighthouse.

The Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse is a group with 300 members who have spent £210,000 on the structure since 1989 but the lighthouse is in need of further work including the fixing of leaky upper windows and the painting of the exterior walls.

The chairman of the Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse, Geoff Brown spoke to the Wirral Globe and stated that the council agreed to pay for the legal fees of £10,000 however, they now claim they have no money whatsoever for the refurbishment. Mr Brown also said, ‘We qualify for National Heritage and Big Lottery funding and we can raise money from abseiling sessions and various other events. We have a business plan and a complete survey pointing out all of the defects at the lighthouse.’

Since the completion of the lighthouse in July 1763 it has not had an easy life. Once the light in the lighthouse stopped functioning it was no longer used as a lighthouse from 1908. It became a tearoom but was closed to the public in 1935 and then suffered neglect and vandalism. The outside of the lighthouse was painted in 1973 to cover the damage after pressure from the public and developers submitted a £500,000 plan to develop the lighthouse however, the development did not materialise. The council approved a £30,000 scheme in 1989 to refurbish the lighthouse and provide a rangers office on the ground floor but since then, no further work has been done to the lighthouse other than a partial coat of paint that I have witnessed over the past 8 years.

If you would like to become a ‘friend’ of Leasowe Lighthouse or participate in fund raising, you can visit The Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse’s website for more details or you can visit The Friends of the North Wirral Coastal Park’s website for further information on the area.

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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