Darwen Tower ‘unwrapped’ as scaffolding is removed!

Published Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 15:09

The scaffolding is being removed at Darwen Tower – marking the end of vital works to repair the landmark’s exterior.

Specialists are working hard to take down the structure, which has protected the Grade-II listed building while the work has been undertaken.

All of the external improvements, including structural works, are now complete with contractors due to move inside as soon as the scaffolding is fully removed in the coming weeks.

Darwen Town Deal, Darwen Rotary and Blackburn with Darwen Council have funded the full restoration of Jubilee Tower.

Wayne Wild, Chair of the Darwen Town Deal Board, said:

It was fantastic to go up to the Tower and see the start of the scaffolding coming down and the improvements being revealed.

This is such an important project for residents in Darwen and it’s exciting as it’ll be the first Town Deal project to be completed.

While the Town Deal is focused on kick-starting the transformation of Darwen, the tower is an important, historical landmark and it was a privilege to be able to secure £225,000 of funding to pave the way for the works.

The Queen’s 70-year reign will be marked by the lighting of a beacon at Jubilee Tower on the evening of Thursday, June 2nd.

This will be the first event to take place by the iconic Tower since its most recent restoration works.

A competition was launched to find a resident to light the beacon with the number of nominations far surpassing expectations.

Gil Riley, President of the Darwen Rotary Club, said:

Residents donated tens of thousands of pounds to help restore the Tower when it fell in to disrepair.

It’s such an important landmark for the town – a sign to many that they’re home and we wanted to ensure it could be enjoyed for many generations to come.

We’re all looking forward to the scaffolding coming down, the repairs being completed and seeing the Tower once again looking its best.

Specialist contractors, UK Restoration Services have undertaken the works in consultation with Heritage England.

The mortar mix was specially developed after the original materials were analysed in a lab and the works have been independently assessed throughout.

The finishing touches include replacing the windows inside the tower, painting the dome and pointing to the inside of the 1898 building.

Councillor Phil Riley, Deputy Chair of the Darwen Town Deal Board, said:

We can’t wait to officially unveil the Tower at the beacon lighting.

The work has been painstaking – often in difficult conditions and against the backdrop of the pandemic and the issues that has brought.

The priority has been completing the restoration to the highest standards and doing so safely and it’s looking fantastic.

Residents will soon be able to go up to the Tower and enjoy in all its glory.

The octagonal Jubilee Tower was built by public subscription in the 1890s to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and Darreners’ rights to roam the moors.

Whilst the location of the Tower is what makes it iconic and visible across the whole borough, it also makes it vulnerable too.

Sitting at the top of a hill on Darwen Moors has exposed the Tower to the elements over the years, and the work was required to restore the building.

For all the latest updates on the Tower, visit www.theshuttle.org.uk

To find out more on the Darwen Town Deal, visit: www.darwentowndeal.co.uk

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