Appeal for action over Burntisland clock tower

Local residents Morag Douglas and John Russell with the petition
Local residents Morag Douglas and John Russell with the petition

Cash shortage means town’s landmark is still in need of repair 18 months on ...

News that lack of money will mean more delay in rebuilding Burntisland’s clock tower has been met with dismay.

But local politicians and residents say they will continue to press for the work to be carried out as a priority.

Fife Council said this week that the reason the B-listed clock at the town’s Burgh Chambers has still not been rebuilt 18 months after it was dismantled because it was in a dangerous state, was lack of funding.

Ross Tulloch, lead structural engineer with the local authority, said: “We are still committed to the re-building of Burntisland clock tower and are looking at various funding options. Fife Council has already provided funding to help purchase certain building materials, including stone work, but until more funding can be secured we can’t set a firm date for the reconstruction.”

The clock and part of the tower was dismantled after cracks appeared in the masonry. Investigations revealed that an iron hoop within the structure had rusted because water had seeped into the stonework, making it unstable.

The clock was previously silenced in November 2010 after a complaint about noise, but a public campaign, with over 1000 signing a petition followed and it was allowed to chime during the day.

This week Alex MacDonald, chairman of Burntisland Community Council, said Fife Council was legally obliged to carry out the repairs.

“There is some money put aside for the work and some stone has been bought, but a lot more money is needed. I don’t know what is being done to raise the extra money, but this work has to be done.

“Everyone wants to see it happen as soon as possible as it is an important part of our town and is bang in the middle of the High Street. We are not going to forget about it.”

Councillor Susan Leslie who represents Burntisland, added: “The elected councillors have already helped to secure the purchase of new stone and materials to make a new cage for the tower to be rebuilt round.

“A substantial amount of money still has to be found before the rebuild can start. Fife Council needs to be exploring all the options to secure the money.”