WORK has started to move Swanage’s War Memorial to safety, as part of the ongoing project to combat landslips in the Victorian seaside town.

The memorial, standing on top of Swanage’s popular Recreation Ground, has been surrounded by scaffolding ahead of it being moved in sections further from the seafront.

Ground surveys ahead of the £2.1million stabilisation scheme initially found the war memorial area required no attention.

However, when work started on the overall project following this winter’s unprecedented rainfall, engineers quickly realised the area where the memorial to Swanage’s wartime fallen now stands, was, indeed, at risk of slippage.

This extra work has effectively pushed back the completion date of the stabilisation project until after the summer season, and added another £750,000 to the bill.

Speaking last month, after the scheme’s extension was first announced, town mayor Cllr Ali Patrick, pictured left, said: “It is unfortunate that the council is now faced with the need to extend the scheme, but it is far better that this work is done now, to ensure that the ground will remain stable even in the worst of conditions, rather than do nothing and risk a future slip.”

Each section of the war memorial, which bears the names of local servicemen from both world wars, will be taken down and reconstructed exactly as it is but further back away from the top of the slope.

Because of the overall project delay, this year’s Swanage Carnival procession will have to be partially re-routed.

The live music stage for the summer event will also be moved from Shore Road to Prince Albert Gardens.