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Restoration of tower begins at Engineerium in Hove
6:00pm Tuesday 6th August 2013 in News
Work has begun on the iconic tower at The British Engineerium in Hove.
For the first time in more than 30 years scaffolding has gone up around the 150ft tall tower, part of the Grade II listed Victorian-Gothic structure.
Workers will be doing any restoration work needed to be done to ensure the structure is in good condition.
Businessman and philanthropist Mike Holland said: “It’s having a proper service now.
“What we have to do, every so many years, is scaffold the tower and make sure that we re-point and do any restoration work that needs doing, otherwise eventually it will fall down.
“This was last done by the same people in about 1980.”
The former pumping house is set to re-open in 2015 as a steam museum and exhibit of mechanical antiquities.
Monthly open days have stopped for restoration work, which is due to be completed in 2014 before the building is re-fitted.
The 147-year-old building looked set to be sold off and demolished, but was saved by Mr Holland.
The main theme of the museum will be steam power, so as well as restoration of classic exhibits such as the 19th century Corliss steam engine, a second boiler has also been commissioned.
Mr Holland has brought a 1900 loco-mobile steam car that will sit alongside the other marvels of industrial revolution and late Victorian Britain.
He said: “The British Enginerrium is about celebrating engineering through the ages.
“While the focal point is on engineering in general, with a particular regard to British engineering, we are really focusing on local developments both past and present.
“The present is extremely important because it will become the history of tomorrow.”
A second set of plans have been submitted to build an ice-rink on the site, after the original plans were rejected by Brighton and Hove City Council in May.
The whole renovation process has been funded by Mr Holland.
When it opens its doors – after nearly a decade of work – it is hoped to become one of Brighton and Hove’s premiere attractions.
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