Chimney is set to stay on skyline

31/8/2011 (NEWS)''The Sanderson Business Centre in Lees Lane, Gosport where repairs to the chimney were taking place on Wednesday 31st August 2011.''Picture: Sarah Standing (113099-2839)

31/8/2011 (NEWS)''The Sanderson Business Centre in Lees Lane, Gosport where repairs to the chimney were taking place on Wednesday 31st August 2011.''Picture: Sarah Standing (113099-2839)

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A LONG-standing part of Gosport’s skyline has been spared demolition.

The red brick chimney at the Sanderson Centre, in Lees Lane, has stood 98ft tall for almost 100 years.

Centre bosses decided to take the unstable structure down brick by brick to free up space for more businesses below.

But now they’ve had a change of heart – and the chimney will stay where it is.

Instead of being torn down, it will be repaired.

Essential repointing work means it will end up 20ft shorter than it was originally.

Manager of the Sanderson Centre, Shelley Atkins, said: ‘We’ve decided to repair the chimney now.

‘We had a survey done on it which showed it was unstable so we’re going to have to take some of it away.

‘The bricks are already being taken off and chucked down the chute which will make it about 20ft shorter than it was before.

‘I’m quite pleased that it’s going to stay there.

‘I hope we will be able to maintain it and keep it there for a few more years to come.’

Work to start taking the top of the chimney apart brick by brick began earlier this week.

Workers will be repointing the chimney over the next week and will leave it standing at around 78ft tall.

The Sanderson Centre was built in the 1920s and was first used as a motorbike factory.

It later became a wallpaper factory and was one of the first business centres in the region.

The centre is now home to around 90 small businesses.

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