16 May 2019

Local Cowes landmark saved

A popular public seating shelter on Cowes Parade has been saved from demolition.

The watch house shelter, by the RNLI lifeboat station, Cowes, had been saved through joint funding from Isle of Wight Council, Cowes Town Council and an offer to refurb from Havenstreet based company Trevor Jones Contracting.

Previous quotes had put renovation costs at higher than the cost to demolish it and because of the limited budget available to undertake this work and the ongoing maintenance, the council had opted for demolition.

However, following local firm Trevor Jones Contracting coming forward and offering to repair and refurbish the site at cost price to save the much-loved landmark, the Isle of Wight Council will now project manage the work and provide the funding which had previously been earmarked for demolition. Cowes Town Council has agreed to provide further funding for the renovation as well as accepting future ownership of the shelter.

Commercial activities manager, Trisha Stillman, said: “I’d like to thank Cowes Town Council and Trevor Jones Contracting for their help in preserving this much-loved shelter for future generations to enjoy. Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions based on available funding but it’s great news that, in this case, there has been a really positive outcome.”

Cowes Town Council's clerk said: "This is a good example of partnership working between the Town Council, the Isle of Wight Council and Trevor Jones Contracting. The Town Council are delighted that this historic structure is being restored for the benefit of the residents and visitors to Cowes. We look forward to seeing works to the structure finished in time for the busy summer season."

Gowan Ruler, contracts manager at Trevor Jones Contracting, said: “Being a Cowes boy and having spent a lot of time on the parade in the past, I felt it was a local amenity that needed saving. Fortunately, I have worked in the Construction Industry for many years, meeting and working with some very helpful companies and individuals who have agreed help as needed at cost or much less, supplying materials and labour. Using these relationships and knowledge within the industry, we have been able formulate a plan that will save the shelter within the budgets whilst upgrading its structure in the process.”

The historic structure had been cordoned off, following an engineer's report that found it to be unsafe.

Work is planned to take place in over the next two months.

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The Cowes watch house shelter has been saved from demolition
The Cowes watch house shelter has been saved from demolition
  • The shelter is located by the RNLI lifeboat station in Cowes.
  • It appears that there has been a structure on this site from the late Victorian period.
  • The structure present today does not appear to be original with the majority of it comprising of materials from the later 20th century.
  • Heritage records show that over 100 years ago, the shelter was used by local longshore men.
Isle of Wight, UK