‘Shaming’ tactics in bid to save crane

By Richard Wright

Saturday, February 25, 2012

 

‘Shaming’ tactics in bid to save crane

The Hammerhead Crane at Cowes.

AN URGENT new appeal has been issued to save the rusting Hammerhead Crane at Cowes.

Cowes Hammerhead Crane Trust, which wants to preserve the iconic Grade II Listed crane in its centenary year, is increasingly desperate for urgent repairs to be carried out.

It wants to shame businessman Peter Harrison — who wanted to develop the waterfront land near the crane — and the Isle of Wight Council into taking action.

English Heritage has pledged up to £90,000 — but that has to be 'unlocked’ with an £18,000 contribution from elsewhere.

Alarmed by the deteriorating condition of the crane, English Heritage too tried to name and shame the council and the businessman into taking action by listing the crane in its top ten of threatened industrial structures.

Trust chairman Jon Fisher said: "We are hoping to be able to shame the Isle of Wight Council or Peter Harrison into pledging the money so at least urgent repairs can be carried out.

"The money really is only a drop in the ocean to both the council and to Mr Harrison but it will help make a real difference to the crane while a long-term restoration, that could cost £700,000, is worked out. We will be launching an appeal ourselves in an attempt to raise the cash — although we realise in these times it will probably be a very difficult task."

But this week IW Council cabinet member for the economy and the environment, Cllr George Brown, said: "The council does not have financial resources to contribute to a structure it does not own and is part of a privately owned business estate.

"We believe it is the duty of the landowner — and not Island council taxpayers — to finance and oversee the required work on this structure."

No comment could be obtained from Mr Harrison’s organisation.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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