A £35,000 grant has been secured to restore one of Otley's best-loved monuments.

The National Lottery money will be used to both repair the Grade II Listed Navvies Memorial, on Church Lane, and allow new research to be carried out into its history.

The monument is a stone, scale model replica of the north entrance to Bramhope Railway Tunnel.

Listed by Historic England, it was built in tribute to the 24 railwaymen who died during the tunnel's construction between 1845 and 1849.

Otley Town Council worked with the Otley Conservation Taskforce to apply for the £34,900 National Lottery funding that will now be used to restore it.

Town Council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) said: "The Navvies Memorial has been in disrepair for too long and I am delighted that the efforts of the town council and Otley Conservation Task Force to compile the necessary project funds have been successful.

"Our community wants to see the memorial restored, as can be seen by the contributions made by townsfolk to the former Town Mayor’s Appeal.

"The legacy of the sacrifice the navvies made to build the Bramhope Tunnel will be rightfully restored to its former glory and be fitting to their memory.

"We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Railway Heritage Trust for the critical support that will now deliver this restoration."

Chair of the Otley Conservation Taskforce, Angela Leathley, added: "After many years of hard work to gain funding, the Navvies Memorial will now be restored as a fitting tribute to the numerous men who gave their lives in the construction of the railway network of this country."

The official funding announcement goes on to say that: "The project is focused on the repair and conservation of the structure, enabling residents and visitors alike to continue to enjoy this unique important piece of heritage.

"In addition, this project provides opportunities to undertake new research that will enable a new audience both young and old to become aware and engage with the history of the memorial, the navvies and this important period of social and economic history."

The town council agreed last summer to take on responsibility for maintaining the monument after it emerged that it was in urgent need of repair but had no identified owner.

The council allocated £2,000 in its latest budget towards the restoration work, while the Railway Heritage Trust has also already made a £6,000 commitment.

The scheme is also being financially supported by the Conservation Taskforce, former Town Mayor Councillor Nigel Francis' 14+1 Appeal, and a private donation by a local Otley businessman.

To find out more about the task force's conservation work or to get involved send an e-mail to Angela Leathley at otleytaskforce@gmail.com .