Sedgley Beacon lottery cash bid hopes dashed
Ambitious plans to restore the landmark Sedgley Beacon Tower have fallen through.
Dudley Council and a friends group applied for £1.43 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but missed out.
The cash would have helped restore the crumbling Grade ll-listed building, allowing people to walk up the top once again. The tower has been in disrepair for more than a decade.
However campaigners have not given up the fight, vowing to put in a fresh bid for funding.
Sedgley councillor Michael Evans, who is involved n the project, said: “This is an ancient monument and it is important that we preserve it for future generations. The Beacon Tower is iconic to Sedgley – in fact it is on our own coat of arms.
“It is always a blow when funding applications fall through, but we will keep trying and again until we succeed.
“We will be putting in a new funding application this year. The Beacon Tower means a lot to the people of Sedgley.”
Councillor Evans said the fresh bid will be submitted ‘soon’ this year.
The Sedgley Beacon site is old and it is believed an earlier tower stood there more than 400 years ago.
The current building was constructed in 1846 from Gornal sandstone. However it has fallen into despair and its stairs are crumbling. The site has been fenced off from the public for safety reasons.
But under the restoration project, it is hoped people could reach the top once again.
Local rumours say the Bristol Channel can be seen on a clear day from the top.
The tower is situated on the crest of Beacon Hill and stands at 777 feet, or 237 metres, above sea level.
Beacon Hill is the highest point of land between Sedgley and the Ural Mountains in Russia.
Councillor John Martin, cabinet member for environmental services and highways, said: “Unfortunately our original bid to the HLF to restore the Sedgley Beacon and its Grade II-listed tower was turned down at the end of last year.
"Although this is disappointing, we’re forging ahead and plan to resubmit an application in the next few weeks.
"We’ve tweaked the detail within the application to meet new criteria, which was launched by the HLF last month, and remain optimistic it will be successful.”
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