by Chris Price
A £300,000 project to restore Herne Bay clock tower to its former glory is a step closer this week.
The first phase of lottery funding has been approved for a major refurbishment, including installing modern lighting and webcams which will beam images from the top of the column onto the internet.
It means £16,100 has been granted to the council to plan the work, which will include consultation with the people of the town.
They will then bid for a full grant of £232,200 in November to carry out the project.
If approved, the council will contribute another £100,000.
The council’s Herne Bay regeneration manager Patrick Rynne said: "The clocktower is a magnificent building and a focal point on the seafront but its condition has deteriorated over the last few years.
"This project gives us the chance to restore it to its former glory and create a wonderful attraction for residents and visitors.
"We hope local people will want to join us on this journey and look forward to working with the community as we put the next part of the bid together."
The Heritage Lottery Fund money will be used to put educational activities in place around the clock tower, as well as refurbishment works.
Displays about its history will be created in a shop on the seafront and an updated book by Bay historian Mike Bundock will be commissioned.
Culture and heritage walks around the town will also be developed with the help of Herne Bay Improvement Trust.
Herne Bay’s is the world’s oldest free standing clock tower, built in 1837.
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