The installation of the new £200,000 artistic LED lighting along Weymouth’s Esplanade was expected to begin last month. However, the contractor search has been extended by an additional 4-5 weeks past December 2018, which was the original target.
The multicolored LED lighting project was hoped to be placed by March of this year, but now, the expected completion date seems to be impossible to pull off.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s briefholder for tourism, culture, and harbour, Cllr Richard Kosior said the council, at this time, cannot predict the completion date of the lighting scheme, at least until the contracts are set in place.
“We are currently in the procurement process, which has been extended after some discussion with the market”, he said.
“We expect this extra time taken will identify a better value and more robust and competitive supply and install arrangement.
“We are not yet at a position to provide start and completion dates until we have awarded contracts”.
According to the briefholder, the lighting project will still remain within the original budget. Consequently, a council spokesperson said that the funding from the Coastal Communities Grant of the government will still remain available when the borough council disbands and the Dorset Council is established. The borough council is expected to disband in April.
Tonkin Liu, the designer of the multicolored LED lights along the Weymouth Esplanade, says that the computer-controlled lights were approved by the borough council last August and were “inspired by nature – creating scenes that mimic the rising and setting sun, as well as rain and a bird in flight”.
The LED lighting project, according to the plans, will feature colour-changing, computer-controlled LED light columns that will form three distinct zones. These zones are based on the types of lighting, their history, and each of their previous, current, and future uses.
The lighting project underwent a public consultation with nearly 9,000 residents, and during the event, a number of residents campaigned for the restoration of the fairy lights near the seafront of the area.
However, most of the people in the public consultation, including those who suggested the fairy lights, approved the new design and even gave positive feedback.