Restoration work to bring a historic city centre fountain “back to life” has begun and is set to be completed in time for the King’s Coronation.

The Victoria Fountain in Old Steine Gardens in Brighton was switched off in January for “safety reasons” after it was discovered to be listing and had rusting bolts.

Temporary work had been carried out on the 176-year-old fountain to make it safe, but it will now undergo repairs and refurbishment to restore it.

A metal fence has been erected around the fountain, with the rocks around the structure moved out of the way to allow contractors to carry out restoration work.

The Argus: Rocks that surrounded the Victoria Fountain have been moved to allow repair work to take placeRocks that surrounded the Victoria Fountain have been moved to allow repair work to take place (Image: The Argus)

The work will include carefully dismantling the statue so it can be refurbished off-stie, replacing corroded bolts that hold the fountain together, and refurbishing and re-erecting the fountain and the intricate electrics and waterworks.

It follows two unsuccessful attempts at tendering the work needed to repair the fountain.

The fountain, 32ft in height, was installed in May 1846 to mark Queen Victoria’s 27th birthday.

The Grade II listed structure, which features three levels of cascading water, was restored between 1990 and 1995 in readiness for a visit by the then Prince Charles.

Brighton and Hove City Council anticipate the repair work to be completed next March, in time for the King’s Coronation in May.

A council spokesman said: “Work is now taking place to repair and refurbish the fountain to bring this important piece of the city’s heritage back to life.

“The stones at the base of the fountain are not part of the original fabric of the structure. Most of these are sedimentary rocks covered in a concrete slurry and will be reinstated once the fountain is back in situ.

“Weather problems permitting and subject to any unknown problems that may be found, we aim to have the refurbishment project completed in March 2023.”