Whitley Bay's iconic St Mary's Lighthouse currently in 'faded and stained condition' and needs funding for restoration, councillors say
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In 2018, North Tyneside Council applied for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to finance a £2.1m refurbishment project. However, the council’s application for funding was declined.
The original plans included a schedule of repair works to the Grade II listed lighthouse and the former keeper’s cottage.
Councillors Ian McAlpine, Liam Bones, and Lewis Bartoli have now signed a motion urging the council to find alternative funding and repaint the lighthouse in the meantime.
The motion reads: “The lighthouse has been a muse to many an artist and photographer and is so iconic that it adorns much of the council’s own publicity.
"Sadly, in recent years, the exterior has been deteriorated by the elements, placing a noticeable dark shadow on the north side and a blot on North Tyneside’s coastal landscape.
“Residents and tourists now frequently mention the faded and stained condition of the landmark, disappointed that more is not being actively done to maintain its beauty.”
Conservative St Mary’s councillor Ian McAlpine said: “Residents frequently raise the condition of the lighthouse with me, with disappointment at the current state of its exterior.
“It’s indicative of the Council’s attitude towards our area that the lighthouse has fallen into disrepair.
"The motion I am putting forward seeks to restore the iconic look of the lighthouse in the short term and safeguard the long-term future of the site.
“The lighthouse is the jewel in the crown of our coastline, which is why this is the first motion I am bringing forward as the new councillor for St Mary’s ward.
"I hope that members from all parties will support this effort to maintain the beauty of our coastal horizon and one of our most cherished landmarks.”
A Labour Group spokesperson said: “We’re absolutely committed to securing the long-term future of St Mary’s lighthouse and look forward to setting this out at council.”
Construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1898 and it remained working until 1984 after the introduction of modern navigational techniques. It is also surrounded by a nature reserve.