The Laxey Wheel is turning again after nine months of restoration work, according to Manx National Heritage.
Manx National Heritage has been working to restore the popular tourist attraction since January of this year.
MNH’s Isle of Man Heritage Open Days 2022 guide says the Lady Isabella is ‘turning once again’ now that ‘work is complete’.
Originally forecast to be fully open again by May following its closure in January of this year, it has suffered a number of setbacks.
It was pushed back to the end of July after it was discovered that additional repairs were needed on the iconic structure.
The wheel was covered in scaffolding while work progressed, with the site still open to the public during that time.
Manx National Heritage historic building architect John-Paul Walker, formerly of the Historic England organisation, previously explained that factors such as; ‘additional repairs being found, weather throughout the winter, loss of staff throughout due to Covid-19, and wanting to make certain sections an improved and more durable repair’ all played a role in the delays.
Funding for the emergency repairs on the wheel, which was constructed in 1854, was split between Government’s Treasury and Manx National Heritage, and was originally set to cost £750,000 which included both phases one and two.
However Mr Walker said the overall price of the project was believed to cost around £1,000,000 in May.
‘Since the original budget was agreed the construction world has gone crazy, and although we competitively tendered it to make sure to get the best price possible, the prices were coming back over what we budgeted,’ he said.
‘Despite the pressures to get it done on time and on budget, we hope the public realise that we’re prioritising getting it right.’
The completion date was then further pushed back to the end of August.
In July, Ayre and Michael MHK Tim Johnston explained that the work on the wheel has required a ‘bespoke approach to maintenance and repair’ due to the historic nature of the structure.
He also confirmed that some issues were only discovered once scaffolding was erected around it.
He said at the time: ‘This has understandably led to delays to repairs, which are now due to be completed in full for phase one by the end of August, subject to resolving a technical issue with the wheel case.
‘The broader Laxey Wheel site has not been closed to visitors during the conservation work, so will not need to reopen. However, removal of the scaffolding will commence imminently, which will allow the wheel to be revealed.’
Now completed, it should be 15 years before any redecoration is needed and MNH should get 50 to 60 years out of the replaced timbers.
MNH refused to comment ‘as a mark of respect’ for the upcoming funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.