Restoration work on a historic fountain in the city centre may not be completed by the time of the King's coronation.

The Victoria Fountain in the Old Steine has been undergoing repairs after significant and complex structural problems were discovered last year.

Restoration work on the 19th-century fountain has been taking place since January, with parts of the fountain taken to Leicester for specialist repair.  

However, despite initial hopes that the work would be completed in March, the council has now said that the work may not be completed in time for the coronation next month due to “a number of challenges”, including recent wet weather.


A council spokesman said: “The unusually cold and wet weather for this time of year means the off-site pating work, which is taking place in Leicester, is taking longer to properly dry and be ready to move on-site.

“This could in turn have a knock-on effect on the timings of other parts of the restoration process.

“We are working very closely with our contractors and should have a better idea of timescales soon.”

Some of the work being carried out includes replacing the corroded bolts that hold the fountain together, as well as refurbishing and reconstructing the fountain and its intricate electrics and waterworks.

The 32ft fountain was installed in May 1846 to mark the 27th birthday of Queen Victoria.

The Argus: The cast-iron dolphins of the fountain have been blasted ready for inspectionThe cast-iron dolphins of the fountain have been blasted ready for inspection (Image: Brighton and Hove City Council)

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.

However, after the structure began to list, the fountain was switched off for safety reasons and it was determined specialist work was needed to repair the issue.

While the fountain is being renovated, a new reinforced concrete base is being installed at the site, to provide a solid, secure and level base for the restored fountain.

The work is being overseen by Brighton company Edgar and Wood Mechanical Services Ltd, with specialist contractors working on the fountain’s metalwork, water features and lighting.

Some councillors, including Carol Theobald, have expressed hopes that King Charles will return to the city to mark the fountain’s latest restoration.