A MUCH-HATED art sculpture on Weston High Street is to be upgraded with a £95,000 revamp. 

The famous Silica, on Big Lamp Corner, arrived in 2006 at the cost of £280,000 but was quickly dubbed 'The Carrot' by critics for its similarities with the vegetable. 

It was funded by central government as part of North Somerset Council’s now defunct civic pride initiative. 

A time capsule was also laid beneath its surface, along with a toy carrot, for future generations.

Now the art piece will see an almost £100,000 upgrade to change 250 light bulbs on the tower.

The Silica fell into disrepair almost immediately after its construction, and by 2012 the Mercury reported local dissatisfaction with its appearance, noting the once bright cream structure was going 'mouldy'.

It saw previous use as a bus shelter and small concession stand but poor trade, anti-social behaviour and vandalism left it vacant for many years. 

"Ever since Silica was installed, it has provoked debate, as any public artwork should," Central Ward councillor Robert Payne, said.

"But as a significant and iconic structure in the heart of Weston town centre, it is vital that it should be kept in good condition.

"We all want to create a thriving and sustainable town centre and I am pleased to see this work on the Silica will help contribute to that.

"It’s going to be fantastic to see the tower alight again and also using smart technology to reflect the seasons and events during the year."

The council says the two-week project will install new multi-coloured, energy-efficient lighting. Work begins today, September 26.

LED lights will replace the 250 single colour lighting and the control equipment will also be replaced. 

These changes means the lights can be coloured differently for events and themes throughout the year.  

Work will be carried out by Ark Lighting and street lighting contractor Centregreat Ltd. 

North Somerset Council's executive member for highways, Cllr Steve Hogg, said: "Structures like this need regular maintenance and since the design concept of Silica was based on light, it is only reasonable we invest in the maintenance of that concept.

"We look forward to the structure glowing as intended and to see it illuminating Big Lamp Corner throughout the coming winter months."

While works are taking place the adjacent loading bay on Regent Street will be suspended and an area around the tower cordoned off.