The public and local businesses are being called upon to support the restoration of Old John Tower on Bradgate Park as it undergoes essential work.
Organised by the Bradgate Park Trust, the restoration project is set to repair the structural damage and bring in specialists who could help enhance the character of the landmark tower. The work could be completed by Christmas if £30,000 is secured by the end of November.
The Trust’s work on the tower will include a series of repairs to the outside walls and roof, structural repairs and specialist stone and mortar work that will help restore the visual elegance of the original tower built in 1784.
As a landmark that has hosted so many visitors’ memorable moments, from proposals or sledging to dog-walking and deer spotting, the Trust now hopes that people across the region will support the project by donating via its website.
James Dymond, Director of Bradgate Park Trust, said: “Old John Tower’s distinct outline has long looked over the Leicestershire skyline and we’re so honoured to have thousands of visitors to the park each year, just to climb the hill and see the unique Grade II listed building with breath-taking views.
“The tower itself is a robust yet fragile piece of architecture and its vital we ensure the right materials are used in the right place to prevent deterioration of its historic fabric.
“Our fundraising target of £30,000 may seem ambitious, but the Trust has kicked off the campaign with a starting donation of £10,000 which will meet initially identified repair costs.
“If we are to successfully restore Old John Tower to its periodic likeness, we need to call on our communities and businesses to help make this plan a reality. All pledges of support, however large or small, will be gratefully received – and contribute to extending the long life that Old John Tower already has.”
Bradgate Park Trust is hosting the funding page on its website and channelling all donations towards the repair of the landmark.
Nick Rushton, Chair of Bradgate Park Trust, said: “Old John has long been and continues to be a symbol of Leicestershire that we’re proud of.
“Restoration for a building of this era can be very complex, so I’m pleased that the Trust has been able to identify specialists who can give this integral piece of Bradgate’s history a new lease of life.
“This project has my full support and I’m confident that our communities, that have pulled together in extraordinary ways in the past, will come together again to keep this iconic landmark standing tall for generations to come.”
Initial repair work began on 22 September and the park hopes to have fully raised the funds for the full planned works to be completed.
The Trust has expressed that should the total amount of donations exceed the target outlined for Old John Tower, all further donations will be spent on the conservation and maintenance of the Park, in line with the Trusts’ charitable objectives.
To donate or find more information on the project, visitwww.bradgatepark.org/pages/appeal.