HISTORIC Nab Tower is getting a £200,000 makeover to restore it to its former glory.
The Longwood tower is to be repaired to safeguard the future of the 150-year-old building, the setting for the annual Longwood Sing.
Reg Jones, chairman of the Longwood Village Group, described the funding as “brilliant” and said the restoration would give the tower a new lease of life.
Mr Jones, 75, said: “We are so pleased with this funding. It is what we have wanted for a long time now; to see this landmark looking as it should.
“Hopefully once the tower is restored we will be able to expand the Sing and make this a leisure area for the whole community to enjoy.”
Brenda Hey, secretary of the group, added: “The tower has so much historical value to it. We have to protect our heritage; it is important we keep places like this.
“We are all delighted it will be restored.”
Kirklees Council officers have sought the advice of English Heritage representatives to make sure the work carried out is suitable for Nab Tower, which was built using dry stone walling techniques.
Experts will have to strap the exterior of the building to prevent it from falling before injecting grouting materials to stabilise the inner of the tower. The outside will then be faced to complete the repairs.
Clr Ken Sims, cabinet member for regeneration, believes the tower could collapse without the restoration.
He said: “Contrary to some local views and other opinions expressed, there is no quick fix to patch up the structure. It needs a full repair job, otherwise it could literally collapse.
“The tower is an important and valued local landmark above the amphitheatre in which the popular and traditional Longwood Sing takes place.
“It is an important and historic local feature but it is in a dangerous condition which meant it having to be fenced off for safety reasons.
“Once fully restored and repaired, it could become a focal point for many local events and activities in addition to the Longwood Sing.”
MP Kali Mountford, who was involved in a war of words over the merits of the tower, said she was delighted about the proposal.
She said: “The repair is long overdue and I am very pleased that people pressure and huge publicity has persuaded the council to pay for the necessary repairs.”
The council has vowed to work with the Longwood Village Group, who had already begun raising funds for the tower’s restoration.
The £200,000 funding bid will go before the council on November 14 and it is hoped the work will be complete before the tower’s 150th anniversary in 2011.
THE Longwood Village Group are holding a coffee morning this weekend to support improvements to the village.
The coffee morning will take place at the Mechanics Hall on Lower Gate on Saturday, November 3, from 10am until 12pm.
Funds raised at the coffee morning will be put back into events and facilities for the community.