The year-long restoration of a Victorian lift on Brighton seafront has been completed.
The Madeira Lift will reopen to the public at Easter after the renovation of its roof and the installation of new lights.
Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, the chairman of the Brighton and Hove City Council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee, went along to see the covers come off yesterday (Tuesday 29 January).
He was able to see the refurbished griffins and dolphin weathervane on the roof of the Grade II listed lift, which opened in 1890 and links Marine Parade and Madeira Drive.
Two of the original griffins, which sit on the corners of the roof, have been repaired and the remaining two cast to match.
The large orb and weathervane have also been repaired and were lifted into place by five men who carefully adjusted the dolphins and compass to point in the correct directions.
Lightning protection has been hidden within the structure and the new lights mean that people will be able to see the roof and lift at night.
The lights are similar to those used in the restoration of the bandstand towards the border with Hove.
Councillor Bowden said: “I am absolutely thrilled that this unique Victorian lift has been restored to its former glory and that we have been able to add energy efficient LED lighting which will make the lift an attractive feature at night.
“This council is committed to preserving our heritage and it’s wonderful to know that this Grade II listed lift will continue to transport visitors to the seafront well into the future.”
The latest work is the final phase of a project that began in the autumn of 2008 when the council spent £250,000 restoring the lift mechanisms and shaft.
The main contractor for the current project was RB Construction and the works were managed by MacConvilles Surveying.
The lift is expected to operate from Easter and throughout the summer season.
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