Exmouth’s ‘struggle’ to repair seafront Jubilee clock tower comes to an end

Efforts to repair Exmouth’s seafront clock tower have proved a ‘struggle’ to find anyone to fix the niche building.

Weeks spent trying to pinpoint an architect or surveyor willing to take on the task of maintenance work has ended with Exmouth Town Council identifying a specialist architect to assess the Jubilee Tower.

Until now, repair work to the clock tower looked unlikely because of difficulties finding someone qualified to work on the small listed building.

Exmouth Town Council said a specialist survey on the seafront structure can now take place after councillors agreed to fund the report.

Some six architects and surveyors were approached for reports, without success.

Members recently met in private to discuss costs and agreed to appoint a specialist architect to identify the repair work needed.

The clock tower was last repaired in 2016 and fresh work is needed; town council clerk Lisa Bowman said the position of the seafront landmark left it ‘clearly prone to erosion and the effects of the weather’.

She said: “It’s continuing to deteriorate and it’s going to need upkeep.”

The seafront clock tower was transferred to the care of Exmouth Town Council by East Devon District Council in 2011.

The district council said it was not responsible for funding any repair costs, as set out in the transfer agreement.

Chetna Jones, deputy town clerk, speaking at August’s Exmouth Town Council meeting, said grants maybe available to fund repair work because of the unique building design.

She said: “I have struggled to find someone that is willing to work on the clock tower because it’s such a small listed building, but I have found an architect that is quite familiar with it.

“I would recommend we go down this route because we could potentially spend up to £16,000 and still not resolve the problem; we need to identify the exact issues in the clock tower.

“The architects are willing to help us out. They have a lot of experience and have sent me over a list of what they will do – site inspection to determine the water ingress and the effects on the structure and mechanisms, report on the conditions and likely risks, and recommendation on the repair, approaches and budget costs.

“They are also able to advise us on grants because they feel this is a heritage asset where the town council does not gain financially.

“They will produce a report on the condition and likely risks and their recommendations on the repair approach, and budget costs; they will help us with grants.”

She added: “We have tried really hard – half a dozen architects and surveyors – to get quotes to come and survey the clock tower.

“It’s taken us weeks to get one quote forward from an architect.”

Exmouth Jubilee clock tower

Exmouth Town Council said a specialist survey on the seafront structure can now take place after councillors agreed to fund the report.
Photo: EastDevonNews.co.uk

 

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