Penshaw Monument is set for a colourful weekend.
A hi-tech new floodlighting and CCTV system, which is now fully installed at the Wearside landmark, will be trialled over the next three days.
The £43,000 investment will reduce energy bills by up to 80 per cent and save around £8,000 a year in running costs.
Coun Michael Mordey, Sunderland City council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “Penshaw Monument is widely recognised as THE symbol of Sunderland and Wearside and it is fantastic to see one of the North East’s most recognisable landmarks illuminated once again.
“The original lighting scheme had been in place for 30years and was becoming inefficient and costly to run. The new LED lights complete with CCTV system will actually reduce energy costs and save around £8,000 a year.
“The lights will not only allow the true colour of the monument to be seen, they can also be programmed to display colour changing effects. This gives us the opportunity to celebrate special anniversaries or events in colour on the monument, something which I like to think the first Earl of Durham would have approved of.”
Eighteen floodlights, mounted within enclosures at the base of each pillar, have been installed.
The new LED lights will provide a softer white effect allowing the true colour of the monument to be seen, however they can also be programmed to display colour changing light effects as and when required.
Penshaw Monument is cared for by the National Trust, a charity that conserves historic buildings and open countryside spaces.
Kate Horne, Communications and Engagement Officer for the trust, said: “Penshaw Monument is synonymous with Sunderland and the local area. It’s a well-loved landmark for many people; travelling Wearsiders take heart when they see it come into view and know they are nearly home.
“The new lighting will make it even more striking, and the monument will once again be a fitting beacon.
“The National Trust is proud to work with partners such as Sunderland City Council, looking after the monument so everybody can enjoy it. Those wanting to take a closer look can visit our website to book a twenty minute ‘Tour to the Top’, running each weekend until the end of September.”
The illuminations will follow a slow colour change programme as part of the installation trials over this weekend. The standard colour will be white from Tuesday, unless changed for a specific event.