THE iconic mother and child fountain in the middle of Basildon town centre is set for a £33,000 makeover.

Basildon Council has said the Grade II listed fountain will be restored as part of the £2m Government-funded regeneration package to transform the town centre.

The bronze statue, by Maurice Lambert, was unveiled in 1962 and forms the central part of Basildon’s town crest and is also incorporated into the chain of office worn by the council chairman.

Set in a stone pool, the popular statue, which also used to be Basildon Council’s logo, has weathered well and until recently had been left untouched.

But the council is now set to give it a thorough facelift, which will include re-bronzing the figures, relaying and repointing and mending some of the special stonework around the fountain, which comes from a quarry in the Lake District.

This is on top of work already done to install a new pump and filter system into the pool.

Arts and heritage campaigner Vin Harrop, who is director of Our Basildon, said he was thrilled the statue was being given a spruce-up.

He said: “It’s great for Basildon and great for people in the district.

“As a Basildon resident I am very proud of the mother and child fountain, it’s an iconic piece of sculpture which is loved by everyone.

“It helps people to feel proud of where they live.”

The clean-up is scheduled to start on Monday, and could take up to four weeks.

Stephen Horgan, deputy leader of the council, called the fountain a “well-loved” symbol of Basildon and said he was delighted it was being restored.

He said: “This is part of our ongoing commitment to keeping the fountain in the town centre and restoring it to its original glory.”

Other improvements being funded by the £2m grant from the Govern-ment’s Homes and Commu-nities Agency will include a new lighting scheme for the town centre, repainting cycle racks, putting in new bins and revamping the area around Basildon train station.