Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been awarded a grant of £132k from the War Memorial Trust’s First World War Memorials Programme which, together with the Comhairle’s capital allocation of £100K, will allow significant restoration and repair works to the Lewis War Memorial.
The Comhairle appointed Simpson and Brown Conservation Architects to prepare and co-ordinate the pre-contract and tender process, with Flemings Masonry Contractors from Glasgow being appointed as the successful contractor.
Comhairle Convener and Chair of the Local Remembrance Group, Cllr Norman A MacDonald, said: “The Lewis War Memorial has been one of the most iconic buildings in our islands since it was opened on Friday 24th September 1924.
“More than two thousand people gathered that day to witness the opening of the Memorial, dedicated to Lewismen and women who had lost their lives fighting for their country.
“Due to its prominent unsheltered spot on the top of Cnoc-nan-uan, the building has suffered damage to its stonework over the years, due to the Lewis weather.
“It is very important that we maintain such buildings, which are a constant reminder to us all of the sacrifices made by so many islanders and I am very pleased to see that the Comhairle has been awarded a grant to carry out necessary restoration works.”
It is envisaged that the works will commence in April 2016, which will result in the memorial being externally scaffolded to allow the restoration works to be undertaken to all elevations.
The external works will primarily consist of stonework pointing, stone replacement where necessary, replacement of 15 slim windows with new louvres and refurbishment of four windows on the fourth floor.
Restoration works will be undertaken to the three overhanging turrets and the turret steps, entrance door ceiling and slit windows will all be refurbished.
The internal work will primarily involve the removal of existing secondary material (cement render, plaster and paint) to expose the inner rubble stone surfaces to walls.
It is envisaged that the works will take most of the summer to deliver and on conclusion of the works the scaffolding will be left for a number of months to allow for further inspection.