WORK on a controversial town structure is now complete, but was it worth the money?

In September, your Mercury reported a much-hated art piece in Weston known as Silica - or the 'carrot' to critics - would benefit from £95,000 to upgrade defunct lighting on the structure. 

But many angry residents voiced their concerns with the scheme and brandished it as a 'vast waste of money' during a cost-of-living crisis. 

Weston Mercury: Silica during Black History Month. Silica during Black History Month. (Image: NSC)

Silica enhancements finished late last month, to the tune of £88,000, where 234 static LED lights and control equipment saw an upgrade. 

Cables, connectors and a 4G modem was also installed to help find faults and make maintenance easier in the future.

READ MORE: 'The Carrot' art sculpture on Weston High Street to be revamped

The three-week works were carried out by Ark Lighting and street lighting contractor Centregreat Ltd.

A council spokesperson said: "Works on Silica was carried out as part of other lighting refurbishment works including the replacement and extension of the festive illuminations around Marine Lake and the replacement of festive illuminations along The Beach in Clevedon."

Weston Mercury: Silica after works were completed. Silica after works were completed. (Image: Charlie Williams)

It is hoped the refurbishment will help to regenerate Big Lamp Corner and the structure can be used for seasonal lighting during Christmastime and international celebratory days.

Now a concession stand or tourist information may be housed in the former bus shelter. 

However, the almost £90,000 scheme failed to clean or paint the 'carrot' and its surrounds along the paved area of High Street and Meadow Street.

Floor lighting installed at the same time in 2006, adjacent to Silica, also does not work due to 'severe corrosion' of its electrical equipment.

Silica fell into disrepair almost immediately following its construction and just six years later, the Mercury reported local dissatisfaction with its appearance, noting the once bright cream structure was going 'mouldy'.

Weston Mercury: Obsolete floor lighting may also get an upgrade in future. Obsolete floor lighting may also get an upgrade in future. (Image: Charlie Williams)

North Somerset Council has now confirmed a future project will conclude the general enhancement of the area, but said there are no plans to clean or paint the 'carrot' as of yet.

The 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."