THE National Trust is to spend £50,000 on more survey work at Wellington Monument in a bid to complete £4m of improvements before the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

In 2015, Britain will mark the bicentenary of the decisive battle, which saw the Duke of Wellington, in whose honour the monument stands, defeat Napolean in what is now Belgium.

It was five years ago, in September 2005, that the County Gazette reported the monument had been closed after serious cracks were discovered.

Since then, survey work by owners The National Trust has found repairs costing £4million are needed.

This week, the trust’s regional communications officer Allan King told the County Gazette: “We are looking at more detailed tests within six to 12 months.

“We are trying to understand more about how it was constructed, how it moves in the wind and what needs to be done to repair it.”

Mr King said the £4m could change depending on the findings of the work but reiterated the need for ‘local’ funding for the project.

“It is not money the trust has available to spend at present but we have a commitment to preserve it,” he added.

“We are aware of the Waterloo anniversary and the need to do something with the monument.”

Somerset County Councillor Ross Henley, in whose division the monument stands, said: “What they are saying is almost exactly what they told me two years ago. They seem to be no further forward and they should be making it a higher priority. The monument is loved by so many people.”

It is not clear at this stage whether the survey work will involve more scaffolding.

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