PLANS for Wellington Monument continue to make progress as the National Trust has backed the restoration.

The National Trust has revealed that the restoration works would need £4million worth of fundraising to complete the plans, but despite this amount, the trust said that repairing the monument fully was its preferred option. A full restoration should keep the monument in good condition for up to 60 years.

Helen Sharp, the National Trust's project manager, said: "The challenge is going to be to raise the money.

"We are starting to talk to people and organisations who could make a very big difference to securing the money needed for this £4m repair project. "Whether the project goes ahead will be dependent on securing major funding and having active support from the local community.

"We are committed to looking after the monument but we are a charity with limited resources to care for the many special places that we look after and only a small team to manage this project.

"The trust recognises the importance of the monument and we’ve made real progress over the past year with finding a way to repair it.

"Our design team have put together all the information from the surveys, which included measuring and modelling the impact of wind given the exposed location, and we’re now working through the feasibility of several repair options."

Plans are in place for the National Trust to submit an application for a Heritage Lottery Fund for a large part of the funding needed. If they are successful, people will have the chance to support the fundraising campaign to help raise the remainder of the money needed.

The necessary testing, monitoring and recording work has nearly been complete, with the final investigations of core samples taking place soon.

Rebecca Pow, the MP for Taunton Deane recently presented a petition to parliament with more than 1,500 signatures expressing their wishes for the monument to be restored.

Ms Pow said: "Having proactively pushed for the restoration of the Wellington Monument since becoming our MP I am delighted that the National Trust, who own the Monument, are getting right behind the project.

"Thanks to their investment in detailed feasibility studies and making a clear case, a decision has been made to move forward with this significant project.

"It will be challenging and there are many hurdles to overcome not least securing upwards of £3m.

"The recent petition I presented to Parliament was signed by almost two thousand people demonstrating the huge local interest in seeing this much loved and iconic symbol restored.

"Involving the whole community in the project will be crucial as we proceed and judging by the interest so far, I am optimistic that, with the right support, we will see this revered obelisk commemorating one of our greatest war heroes restored to the glory it deserves."