Northampton

Northampton lift tower could become 127m 'giant lava lamp'

Demo of a lit up Northampton lift tower Image copyright National Lift Tower Northampton
Image caption The screen would be used to show art installations and promote the local area

A 127m (418ft) tall tower in Northampton could be turned into the "world's biggest lava lamp".

Plans have been submitted to Northampton Borough Council to wrap a 3,000 sq m high definition LED screen around the National Lift Tower.

The screen would be used to show art installations and promote the local area.

Some users of Facebook said the screen could be a distraction to drivers, but others were in favour of the plan.

The Grade II-listed tower was opened by Express Lifts in 1982 and used for research purposes until 2008.

Image copyright Oast House Archive/Geograph
Image caption The National Lift Tower, originally known as the Express Lift Tower, was designed by Maurice Walton
Image copyright National Lift Tower Northampton
Image caption The screen would start 15m (49ft) above the ground

Express Lifts closed its factory in 1999 and the tower, which is now owned by businessman Peter Sullivan, began holding abseiling events in 2011.

Earlier in the month, the council approved plans for it to become a permanent centre for charity abseils.

Ben Rogers, spokesman for the tower, said the screen would not be visible to immediate neighbours.

"If you look at an LED screen at a certain angle you can't see it," he said. "Nobody would be able to see the screen within half a mile from it, so local neighbours would not be affected."

He said plans had been submitted to the borough council, but it was not yet known how the screen would be funded or when it could be installed.

Image copyright Oast House Archive/Geograph
Image caption The National Lift Tower sits in a residential area built on the former Express Lifts factory site

Response on BBC Radio Northampton's Facebook page was mixed, with some people saying it would be a waste of money.

Geoff Cotterill said: "The world's biggest lava lamp! Bring it on."

But Vanessa Kimbell said: "I'm sure the homeless people will appreciate such a pretty night light."

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