Funding agreed for study on Leading Lights

Wednesday, 25 January, 2023
The Leading Lights

A structural condition survey on a Dovercourt landmark can proceed after a funding agreement was reached.

Commissioned in 1862 and built the following year the Leading Lights, a pair of steel-framed towers which guided ships around the Harwich peninsular until 1917, are owned by Tendring District Council (TDC).

Condition surveys carried out in 2018 and 2019 found no significant issues with the structures but highlighted areas for further investigation, and work was also carried out at the time to tackle pest control on the towers.

A further structural and condition study is required to understand how the structures have changed since 2019 in order to put together a programme of works to protect them, and to support any future grant funding applications.

Now the National Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed that cash left over from a £250,000 grant it awarded TDC for Clacton 150 anniversary celebrations can be used to pay for the study.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism said this was a positive step in the future of the landmark.

“The Leading Lights are iconic, featuring in so many photos of Dovercourt, as well as an important part of the area’s history, so we are keen to see them preserved,” Councillor Porter said.

“To protect them in the long-term it would be prudent to find a viable use for them – to break the cycle of damage by the elements and un-funded repairs – and this updated survey is the next step in securing this.

“We are very grateful to the National Heritage Lottery Fund for their support, not only with Clacton 150 but also their pragmatism in allowing us to use the small underspend to support this other important heritage project in our area.”

A contractor to carry out the study will now be identified following agreement of the funding.

Last updated on: 25/01/2023 - 10:01