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Further £80k work to save Newport Arch approved

The restoration of one of Lincoln’s most iconic landmarks is set to continue after city councillors agreed to put an extra £80,000 into the project.

Specialist work to secure the future of the iconic landmark began last October after the structure was deemed ‘at risk’ by English Heritage.

At the beginning of the restoration project, the City of Lincoln Council secured a grant of £60,000 from WREN.

In recent months, however, work to the arch has paused as a number of further issues came to light.

The contractor identified a number of issues with the 3rd-century Roman gate, revealing the need for works with a shortfall of £77,449 - including the cost of stonemasonry, scaffolding and structural engineering.

The current estimated costs to complete the project are £137,449 which included a contingency of £12,495.

The contract for restoring the arch was awarded to Robert Woodhead Ltd, who began work on site last October to stabilise parts of the arch, replace eroded stones and add a layer of stonework to the top to protect the Roman brickwork.

Further works identified by the structural engineer include replacing the cement-based mortar with lime mortar, rebuilding three sections of the gable wall and further work to increase resistance to water damage.

The funding shortfall will be met from two existing capital budgets: £57,449 from the corporate planned capital maintenance grant, and £20,000 from the remainder of the Economic Development Capital projects budget.

Newport Arch before the repairs began.
Newport Arch before the repairs began.

Council leader Ric Metcalfe said: “Newport Arch is the only Roman arch left in the country that traffic can still pass through.

“It’s a hugely important part of our offer as a city and part of the rich heritage that makes us successful as a tourist destination.

“We were absolutely delighted to agree the extra funding. This is an iconic ancient monument we have a legal and moral duty to maintain.

“Given the nature of this work there’s a degree of uncertainty as to how much work is required until a full examination takes place. Ancient monuments of this type are typically more expensive given their fragile nature.

“This is essential expenditure to make sure we retain this piece of Lincoln’s history properly for future generations and I’m looking forward to seeing work resume soon.”

Newport Arch in Lincoln in the 1890's. Photo: Old UK Photos
Newport Arch in Lincoln in the 1890′s. Photo: Old UK Photos