A LOAN has been secured to enable Ludlow Town Council to undertake work to find out what needs to be done to secure a short section of the town wall that is at risk.

The loan is from the Public Works Loan Board and will allow engineers to take a detailed look at what needs to be done.

It is for £38,550 and has been secured at 2.1 per cent interest. The annual repayments will be £1,989.

Ludlow Town Council has budgeted for this expenditure and wishes to reassure residents that the precept will not increase due to the loan repayments.

With funding in place, the town council has appointed the Morton Partnership as lead consultant and structural engineer. An ecological survey and a historic environment assessment of the 72-metre length of Ludlow town wall have been commissioned.

The ecological survey delivered an initial appraisal of the ecological value of the site and recommendations to avoid, reduce, or manage negative effects to provide a net ecological gain.

A historic environment assessment will gather significant archival documentation, geotechnical information, historic maps, and undertake an onsite inspection of the historic fabric of the ancient monument.

The initial work will inform the next stages, which will be more invasive site investigations including cores through the walls, and some archaeological work.

Historic England will be consulted throughout the process.

It is anticipated that stage two works will be concluded by the end of the year.

Then it should be known what work needs to be done.

Several years ago, a section of wall adjacent to St Laurence Church collapsed, resulting in some people living in the Linney having to leave their homes for a time.

They were able to return when the engineers decided there was no risk.

Because the walls are a listed monument and subject to strict rules about how they can be repaired, the final cost could run into millions and will have to be funded by a grant.

The requirements include the use of a special lime mortar that can only be applied during the summer months.

Some sections of the town wall in Ludlow remain in good condition despite their great age, but there has been very little repair and maintenance over the years and this has left a huge legacy of neglect for the present and future generations to deal with.