An £86,000 project to restore the historic West Pier lighthouse has been officially completed and plans are well underway to re-open the structure to the public for the first time in years.
Work has involved repairs to areas of the external stone work, internal works to glazing, windows and the staircase and also steelwork reinforcing.
It has been part funded by a £50,000 grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Coastal Revival Fund, which recognised the important significance of the project and other monies have come from Harbour funds.
Re-opening the lighthouse is set to appeal to the visitors to the town and locals alike after it was closed for safety reasons for fouryears and the income generated is also expected to offset some of the renovation costs.
Specialist contractors had to be drafted in for the project and the borough council opted for Lanstone Conservation Ltd of York, which has expertise in the restoration and repair of historical and listed buildings. A spokeperson said it had been a “challenging” job, especially working within the confines of sucha historical building.
Cllr Mike Cockerill, who is the local authority’s cabinet member for harbours and assets, said he hoped the lighthouse would be open to the public as early as next month.
“While it hasn’t performed as a functional lighthouse for many decades, it has always been a key feature of Whitby’s harbour scene and much photographed landscape.
“The successful culmination of the restoration project, on time and within budget, means it will remain so for many generations to come.
“We are working with the previous tenant and expect the lighthouse will be open to the public next month so that everyone can see the excellent results of the project for themselves and once again enjoy the stunning views of the coastline from the top of this iconic Whitby structure.”
The lighthouse had been open to the public as a historic attraction until it was closed in 2012.
The closure then was deemed necessary for safety reasons due to the serious detioration of its condition and lack of funds at the time to repair it.
Cllr Joe Plant, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transformation said:“The lighthouse plays a very important part in Whitby’s attraction as a centre for culture and heritage and crucially, the DCLG funding has allowed us to realise our aspiration to regenerate it and return it to its former glory.
“We are delighted with the results of the restoration work and we hope local residents and visitors to the town will be too.”