Blackpool’s Mirror Ball project has been held up by weather but will be finished soon, says council

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Repairs to Blackpool’s much-loved Mirror Ball have still not been completed almost a year after it was removed for renovations.

 

But Blackpool Council insists the final stage of the South Promenade project has only been temporarily delayed because strong winds and rain have made working conditions impossible and a halt had to be called for health and safety reasons.

And the authority says the work will be completed as soon as there is a suitable window in the weather.

With a section of tiles still missing from the ball, one resident said it currently looks like a “half-tiled bathroom”.

A section of tiles on the Mirror Ball still needs completing

A section of tiles on the Mirror Ball still needs completing

However, a Blackpool Council spokesman said: “The final section of work requires the use of a cherry picker and the recent weather has made that task unsafe.

“We cannot have workmen at risk which the the weather continues to be so windy.

“We know the Mirror Ball is loved by residents and they can rest assured that the entire project is set for completion as soon as possible.”

The huge six metres diameter glitter ball, reputed to be the largest in the world, was taken down in November last year for a full refurbishment.

The Mirror Ball project will be completed soon, says Blackpool Council

The Mirror Ball project will be completed soon, says Blackpool Council

The £80,000 project has involved removing and replacing 47,000 mirror tiles and used 1,000 tubes of tile adhesive, with the work originally being carried out by partners including the council’s own Illuminations team at the Lightworks and students from Blackpool and the Fylde College.

It was expected that the art work, which rotates and lights up, would be returned to the promenade in the summer after approximately six months’ work – but the project fell behind schedule.

And last month Blackpool Council said it had needed to bring in an outside firm, Mirror Finish NW, to put things right and completely retile it.

Andy Farrell, owner of Thornton-based Mirror Finish NW , whose team was brought in around late June, said: “It is very frustrating because the weather is very changeable.

The Frankenstein Project has deteriorated badly

The Frankenstein Project has deteriorated badly

“I’m a local lad and I have wanted to work on the Mirror Ball project for years – nobody wants it to be completed more than me, I’m really proud to be involved.

“But we’ve had a situation in the last few weeks where the wind can change from being six miles per hour to 26 miles per hour within just a few minutes.

“When the cherry picker is swaying from side to side and we have a person us there trying to tile the ball, that isn’t good and we just can’t put someone at risk light that.

“We’ve been told there is a window in the weather next week and we’re confident we can get the final part of the work finished soon.”

The Mirror Ball was created by artist Michael Trainor, who was inspired by and named the work after the 1969 Hollywood film They Shoot Horses Don’t They, which features a large mirror ball.

It was originally installed in 2002 as one of a series of commissioned artworks known as The Great Promenade Show and last refurbished in 2010.

But there have been complaints from some residents that the art works have not been maintained.

Blackpool resident Craig Elwell told the Gazette: “The glitter ball was supposed to be being refurbished yet it currently looks like a half tiled bathroom, it no longer rotates and it’s missing all the lights that used to illuminate it. It’s such a shame.

“Presently the whole South Promenade looks tired and forgotten and is a shadow of the former promenade art walk it used to be.”

One of the most prominent works is Frankenstein, created by artist Tony Stallard and created from a diver’s decompression chamber, which currently looks rusty and untidy.

But the Blackpool Council spokesman said: ” We are aware of the situation and will be sending information out about that.”