Penshaw Monument vandalism will ‘cost thousands’ to clean up, says National Trust

The cost of cleaning up Penshaw Monument after a graffiti attack by yobs is set to cost thousands of pounds.

Saturday, 16th January 2021, 6:00 am

It had been painted with several several names, swastikas, the letters EDL, and two daubings of homophobic abuse, both of which were misspelled.

The final cost of the clean up is not yet known.

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The graffiti was reported to police on December 18 , 2020.

Similar vandalism, but on a lesser scale, took place in 2017 – when the bill came to £2,500. The National Trust, the charity which owns the monument, says the cost this time will be “substantially more”.

The charity is in the process of appointing a specialist contractor to carry out the repairs.

The trust said a number of inspections must be carried out before a timescale can be put on the work, adding solutions and preventative measures are being considered for the most cost-effective approach.

The damage is significant, so cleaning the entire northern side will require softeners and steam cleaning, which will be gentle on the stonework and not cause problems for wildlife.

The National Trust says it will cost thousands of pounds to repair the damage to Penshaw Monument.

As the monument is a listed building, any work done on it must be approved beyond the local authority. The trust said a team of specialists will be involved, including from Historic England.

Once everything has been approved, work can start. All involved are keen to restore the monument as quickly as possible.

A spokesman for the charity said said: “The National Trust is proud to care for such an important and cherished part of our landscape so we are shocked and disappointed by the vandalism to Penshaw Monument, which for many people in the North East is a symbol of home.

“We are working closely with Sunderland City Council to appoint a specialist contractor to remove the graffiti without causing further damage to the listed monument or the surrounding landscape, and aim to start the work as soon as possible.

“With our charitable funds already impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, this will be a considerable strain on our resources. But we are committed to restoring and protecting this special place so that it can continue to be enjoyed by everyone.”

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