Frustrated residents and traders in a Leeds suburb are considering launching a huge fundraising campaign to restore a treasured landmark.
It was thought the future of Oakwood Clock had been secured with the promise of cash from Tesco as part of its plans for a larger store to replace the existing shop on Roundhay Road.
But with the project now not expected to get under way until at least 2014, locals fear the listed building might not survive the wait.
Julia Wilson, chairperson of Friends of Roundhay Park, said: “I don’t think we have got any choice but to start thinking about fundraising because it’s not going to last that long.”
She added: “It’s a landmark, a symbol of the area. We’d hate the idea of it having to be removed for health and safety reasons.”
The Tesco plans were given the go-ahead in 2009.
One of the conditions was that the supermarket chain would hand over £300,000 to improve Oakwood’s public realm – some for restoring the clock – before construction started.
Locals believed they would have the cash for the clock by the beginning of 2013.
However, while Tesco is planning to carry out “enabling works” this year, a spokeswoman said the main building work wasn’t expected to take place until 2014 or 2015.
Deborah Hayeems, regional corporate affairs manager, said: “Tesco will be contributing money for public realm improvements when construction work on the replacement store starts, as we agreed with the council.
“As always, it is for the council to prioritise any works required locally before that.”
Businessman Nick Wayne, founder of Oakwood Traders’ Association, said the clock was in “desperate need of repair” and it was “very sad” that Tesco was “sticking to the letter rather than the spirit of the agreement”.
Mrs Wilson said residents and traders felt cheated because if they had known the money would be such a long time coming they would have started fundraising years ago.
She said they would look at devising a strategy at the next meeting of Oakwood Traders’ Association, later this month.
The clock was moved to Oakwood from Kirkgate Market 100 years ago and is understood to need a major overhaul costing around £100,000 – which would involve taking it apart, then rebuilding it.
Leeds City Council cannot afford to restore the historic gem, built by William Potts & Sons of Leeds, the last firm of clockmakers to receive the Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.