Plymouth’s famous wedding cake gets a makeover

A group of offenders is helping to restore one of Plymouth’s famous landmarks back to its former glory.

As part of the Community Payback initiative, which sees people with convictions undertake unpaid work to ‘pay back’ to their community, Plymouth’s Colonnaded Belvedere, or ‘wedding cake’ as it is affectionately known locally, is being spruced up by Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company (DDC CRC). As well as being a punishment, the project also provides service users with a number of skills that they can use to prevent them from committing further offences.

The Colonnaded Belvedere was built in 1891, towards the end of a decade that saw massive changes on Plymouth Hoe as it was transformed from farmland with grazing for cows and sheep, to an attractive landscaped garden area.

Because of its prominent position, the Belvedere gets the full force of the South West weather, this means that maintenance work needs to take place to ensure its hardwearing external faces are ready for whatever is thrown at it.

The work that will be carried out includes rubbing down old paint work, filling in any holes, priming the stone work with antifungal paint, before giving it a fresh new coat of oil based paint to ensure it stays looking its best for longer. As part of this project, the three shelters on the Hoe will also undergo the same treatment. 

The landmark will look exactly as it did when first painted as Plymouth City Council has worked with several local paint suppliers to make sure the paint used in the revamp is as close to the original colour of the Belvedere as possible.

Councillor Brian Vincent said: “This is a great project – not only does it see a landmark get a fresh lick of paint, the people tasked with doing it are contributing their time and efforts in a way that will benefit the community as a whole.”

DDC CRC is owned by Working Links and completes about 50,000 hours of unpaid work in Plymouth each year.