Lancashire

Companies offer help to restore damaged Darwen Tower

Darwen Tower
Image caption Darwen Tower will be shut until a replacement dome is fitted

Five companies have offered to help restore a historic Lancashire landmark damaged in strong winds.

The fibreglass dome and weather vane was blown off the top of Darwen Tower in gales on Thursday.

Firms have come forward to replace the dome, which was destroyed beyond repair in the storm, for free or for the cost of the materials.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is in talks with the companies from the areas.

Councillor Dave Harling, the council's executive member for regeneration, said the council did not know the full cost of the repairs yet but added it was considering the offers.

He said: "It is great local people and local companies are coming forward to do their bit to help with the repairs of this iconic memorial."

The tower, built to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, will remain closed until a replacement dome is fitted.

The weather vane was bent by the wind but it can be fixed while fencing and footpaths, which were washed away by the heavy rain, are also being repaired.

It is not the first time the roof of Darwen Tower has blown off.

Gales blew away the original wooden turret that crowned the tower in 1947. It remained turret-less until Darwen Mayor Bill Lees launched a fund for a new dome in 1971.

The refurbished tower was opened on 18 January the following year.

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