THE 22 historic gas lamps owned by Malvern Town Council look set to receive an upgrade that will see them shine brighter and cost less to run.

Members of the council’s operations committee will be meeting on Tuesday (January 18) and are being recommended to agree a refurbishment contract costing about £20,000.

Malvern Town, West Malvern and Malvern Wells councils each own a number of gas lamps around Malvern. They all currently receive a 50 per cent grant from Malvern Hills District Council towards the cost of maintaining the lamps.

However this will be withdrawn at the end of March, leaving the parishes to pay 100 per cent of running and maintenance costs.

Town council officers believe the only way to reduce ongoing costs is through capital investment, and have approached two companies for quotes.

The bid they are being recommended to accept would cost £980 per lamp. It would aim to increase the amount of light that the lamps give off, while reducing the number of gas burners used from 80 to 55. The company would train council staff to assist with long-term maintenance.

The total cost of running the town council’s gas lamps over the last year has been almost £12,000, with half of this covered by the MHDC grant.

Annual costs are expected to fall to £2,500 after a year if the proposed refurbishment goes ahead.

The town council has already put £18,000 aside to refurbish the lamps.

The matter will be decided when the operations committee meets at the council offices, in Belle Vue Terrace, at 6pm.

Meanwhile, officers from Malvern Town, West Malvern and Malvern Wells councils remain in negotiation with MHDC for a 50 per cent grant towards refurbishment costs. To date MHDC has only offered them loans to help with the cost.