Structural maintenance work to the Memorial Clock Tower in Coalville will start on Tuesday 29 May, thanks in part to funding from the National Lottery and the War Memorials Trust.
The essential work to maintain the structural soundness of the Grade II listed structure will be complete by October 2018 at the latest.
Careful scheduling means there will be no disruption to the Remembrance Day commemoration events planned for November.
North West Leicestershire District Council, which is responsible for the memorial tower, carried out a condition survey, which showed the tower needed significant maintenance work. The roof is leaking and needs improvement, some of the steelwork reinforcement within the tower is rusted and needs to be replaced and the concrete base is fractured and needs to be reinforced.
- Repairs to the cast stone on the tower
- Replacing the lead covering on the tower roof
- Replacing the access door at the top of the tower
- Repointing / replacing brick work as necessary
- Installing a new lightning protection rod
- Internal repairs to the access floors
- Internal steel support replacement
- Relaying the concrete paving and steps around the base of the tower
- Electrical work on the internal and external lighting.
To carry out this work scaffolding will be installed around the clock tower to its full height and a site compound will be created around its base.
The work will be completed by contractors Aura Ltd, who will work on the masonry repair elements of the project alongside students from Stephenson College, giving them unique experience of working on a listed monument of such local importance.
Costs and funding
The total cost of the repair work is £116,000. A National Lottery grant of £60,000 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which will contribute towards the repair works and an educational outreach programme.
The memorial tower will also benefit from a grant of £30,000 from the Grants for War Memorials scheme supported by the First World War Memorials Programme and Historic England.
The remaining funding is provided by North West Leicestershire District Council.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the HLF funding will allow the project to take the story of the clock tower out into the community. The project focuses on the history of the prominent tower on the town’s landscape and includes:
- A local history project with Belvoirdale Primary School
- Capturing people’s memories of Memorial Square through an oral history project
- A touring exhibition and brochure exploring how the area commemorated the fallen
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of NWLDC, said: “As custodians of the Memorial Clock Tower – the heart of Coalville and a prominent structure on the town’s landscape since the 1920s – we are very pleased to see this important structural work going ahead.
“We would like to thank National Lottery players as their money is not only helping to restore the tower, but is helping us to take its story out into the community so that future generations can learn about its rich heritage.
“Thank you also to War Memorials Trust, which works tirelessly to ensure our war memorials in the UK are protected and restored.”
Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion at NWLDC, added: “We have scheduled the work to the tower very carefully to make sure we make the most of the good weather and, most importantly, that the work does not disrupt the Remembrance commemoration events in November. This is particularly important in 2018, as we get ready to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1.
“I hope local people will take the opportunity during these works to learn a bit more about the history of the Coalville Memorial Clock Tower as we take these steps to secure its future.”
Frances Moreton, Director, War Memorials Trust, said: “War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past creating a link between the fallen and today. It is vital we ensure all our war memorials are in the best possible condition for their age and the charity is delighted to support this project in Coalville. The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials. If anyone knows of any other war memorials in need of help, please contact us.”
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.
About War Memorials Trust
War Memorials Trust is an independent registered charity. Established in 1977 due to concerns about neglect and vandalism it works to protect and conserve war memorials. It provides advice, information and administers grants schemes that assist the repair and conservation of war memorials across the UK. As a charity the Trust relies on voluntary contributions to undertake its work. Supporters include annual and life members, donors, charitable trusts and corporate contributors.
War Memorials Trust administers a number of grant programmes supporting war memorials across the UK.
Find more information on the funding available from War Memorials Trust.