Facelift planned for two Chichester Landmarks
The iconic Market Cross and the Council House in North Street are to get a facelift as part of schemes costing £131,340 approved by members of Chichester City Council.
It is hoped the work will be completed in time for the tourist season and follows recent surveys carried out by an accredited conservation building surveyor.
The work to the Market Cross will improve the appearance of the structure and will also include the reinstatement of the Orb and Weathervane which were removed. The orb was removed for safety reasons and the opportunity was taken to repaint and regild the weather vane and this was work done by local craftsman, Ian Harris.
This scheme will cost £88,440 which includes a contingency of 10 per-cent.
The work to the Council House, home of the City Council and the popular Assembly Room, will see the facade and brickwork cleaned at a cost of £42,900, which also includes a 10 per-cent contingency.
Details of both schemes need Historic England Approval and Listed Building Consent and both schemes are funded from reserves in the Council’s budget.
The Market Cross dates back to 1501 and was originally built as a meeting point and a place where the poor could sell their wares.
Councillor Jane Kilby, Leader of the Council's Conservative group, said: "The Market Cross is so important to Chichester residents and a focal point for visitors to our city so we are delighted this restoration work is going to take place. Together with the cathedral it must surely be the most photographed structure in our city.
"The previous City Council administration had planned to illuminate the Council House at night, but we reviewed this and felt that it was more important at this stage to invest money into improving the facade of what is also a very significant building."
The Council House is a group of connected buildings constructed at different times between 1731 and 1881.
Councillor Kilby said: "We also see these projects as an early contribution to the Chichester Vision work that is taking place and being led by the District Council working with various partners including the City Council."
The City Council has also confirmed that plans are also underway to include a small Visitor Information Point inside the Council House to compliment the main tourist centre at the District Council's Novium Museum in Tower Street.
Councillor Kilby said: "Because of its prominence and place in the street scene we have found an increasing number of visitors have been calling into the Council House asking for information about the city and its attractions, so this scheme makes perfect sense considering our prime North Street location."