Plans to install permanent colour-changing floodlights on Victoria Tower at Castle Hill have been approved.

Kirklees Council plans to install architectural lighting on the historic structure so that it can be lit up for special occasions.

The tower has been lit up many times before – the last time was March last year to mark the National Day of Reflection a year on from the first Covid-19 lockdown – but the lights had previously been hired and brought to the site.

Now the council is working with Burnley-based architectural lighting experts LITE to install permanent exterior LED floodlights which can create “dynamic” effects in a variety of colours.

Council planners have now granted approval for the lighting scheme which includes reinstatement of an internal doorway within the stair tower and the formation of a new hatch in the upper turret roof.

There will also be alterations to the safety railings around the main roof level.

The works will be carried out carefully to minimise any lasting damage to the listed building.

Twelve floodlights are proposed around the rooftop parapet along with three units mounted on the ground.

Planners asked for clarification why permanent lights were needed and were told that the current use of mobile floodlights was “an expensive solution which requires security to protect the units while they are in place.”

Planners decided that “as lighting is used on regular occasions a permanent solution was considered appropriate.”

It is not yet known how much the scheme will cost though Kirklees Council has said it also plans external lighting at other buildings too, though has not revealed which ones.

In the planning application examples of the costs of such schemes include: Clifford’s Tower in York (£90,000); a cenotaph in Rochdale (£50,000); Bradford City Hall (£40,000); the Wallace Monument in Stirling (£96,000); and Edinburgh Castle (£250,000).

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In a statement Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for growth and regeneration, said: “The council are working on a scheme to provide extra lighting at key focal buildings, and Victoria Tower at Castle Hill is one of these.

“The installation will allow Castle Hill to be illuminated for various events throughout the year. The cost of the scheme at Castle Hill has not yet been finalised, due to the complexities of the site.”

Castle Hill is a scheduled ancient monument which dates back at least 4,000 years. The iconic Victoria Tower opened in 1899 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. It reaches a height of almost 997ft above sea level.

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