Refurbishment work on one of the borough’s most iconic landmarks is set to begin next month, it’s been confirmed.
The Mercer Clock on Town Gate in Great Harwood has been blighted by pigeon dirt and continuous water erosion over the years and is now set for a major facelift.
Repair works worth £60,000 will begin at the start of September and the clock will be unveiled to residents at the Christmas lights switch-on in December.
The project is being coordinated by ward councillors and members of the Civic Society, Regeneration Board and Community Action Group.
Coun Gareth Molineux said he is excited to see the work finally begin. He said: “Ever since I became elected two-and-a-half years ago it’s been our ambition to renovate the Town Gate area and is something we have been pushing for quite a while.
“Luckily we have been able to provide funding and get it match funded. At one point we thought the money had been lost or spent on other things but after we did a bit of digging we found we still had it available and wanted to spend it on the clock.”
The scheme was given the go ahead following a successful funding bid to the English Heritage Lottery.
A £30,000 funding bid was submitted to heritage bosses with match funding coming from Great Harwood Tesco section 106 monies set aside for community projects.
Members of the town’s Civic Society have also arranged to install a marquee at the site to run weekly educational displays on six Wednesdays through September and October.
As part of the scheme a teaching resource pack will be produced for local primary schools describing the history of cotton manufacture in the town.
A local artist will also be commissioned to work with local school pupils to recreate a small scale version of the clock tower in Plaster of Paris.
The clock was built in 1921 to celebrate the work of Great Harwood-born 19th century chemist John Mercer.
Peter Holden, of the Civic Society, said the refurbishment will help bring the area back to life. He said: “The refurbishment has needed doing for a good few years now and it will be done to English Heritage standards with all the proper materials.
“The big thing we have to do is show people what he did, who he was and the fact that he came from Great Harwood so people know why it’s being refurbished.”