VITAL restoration work, set to last for around 18 months, has now got underway at Wordsley’s Red House Glass Cone - but the iconic venue will still host its traditional Christmas events this year.

Bridge Street was closed temporarily on October 26 while a crane lifted giant steel platforms into place to form a base for the external scaffold around the Grade II listed landmark which is a scheduled ancient monument.

The base encircles the entire cone, allowing a complete scaffolding structure to go up around the exterior to enable technicians to repoint the structure from top to bottom with authentic lime mortar – using materials and processes that remain true to the cone’s history.

Vegetation sprouting from the cone will also be carefully removed, as part of the sensitive works which are expected to take 18 months in total.

Councillor Paul Bradley, cabinet member for communities and economic delivery at Dudley Council, which is spending £1.5million on restoring the cone, said: “The installation of this base went really smoothly and I’m grateful to residents for bearing with us when we had to close the road for the day. Fortunately, the team worked quickly and we were able to re-open the site the following day."

Work onsite will include new drainage around the building and access to the tunnels. Inside the cone the internal gantry and lift have been removed to create a more open accessible space.

A new lift will be put in place by the visitor centre to allow wheelchair access to the upper level where a viewing window will offer a glimpse into the cone.

The hot glass studio will also be remodelled.

Various Christmas activities have been lined-up at the cone, despite the works.

There'll be glass fusing sessions, Christmas-themed chat and craft and make and take sessions, a Christmas trail and Christmas Tree Festival.

Details can be found on the TicketSource website (search Red House Glass Cone).