Hastings Pier awarded lottery grant

It was good news for the supporters of Hastings Pier today. They are one step closer to restoring the Victorian pier after being awarded £357, 400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.The money will be used for restoration plans to help the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust(HPWRT) secure the £8.75 million pound bid to rebuild the ‘pierless pier’.Last October, Grade II listed building was thrust into the spotlight after being engulfed in flames. Over 95% of the upper structure was damaged. Although two men were arrested shortly after the fire, they were released without charge in April 2011.

The project aims to restore the substructure, deck and railings as well as setting up an educational programme and offer pier engineer apprenticeships with Sussex Coast College. It is hoped together with the commercial arm of the People’s Pier, it will provide educational and volunteering opportunities in the 19th most deprived town in the country.

Angela Davis, HPWRT trustee who led the application said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting our project. This news strengthens our resolve to continue working with Hastings Borough Council to secure the pier‟s ownership so we can deliver the vision of an iconic pier for Hastings.”

There is still a lot of work to do. Now that the pier has passed the first round, the trust has two years to submit the full proposal. And the trust will still need to match 10% (£800, 000) of the HLF criteria.

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund was extremely impressed by the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust‟s ability to mobilise enthusiastic support from the town‟s local community for this innovative project. It was evident to us that this was a historic structure that people really cared about. The Trust is right at the start of their journey to fully restore the Pier and we look forward to working closely with them in the coming months as their plans begin to take further shape.”

Back in its glory days, Hastings Pier played host to several influential bands in the 60’s and 70s – notably Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Opened in 1872, it was one of the seven surviving piers by Victorian pier designer Eugenius Birch.

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2 thoughts on “Hastings Pier awarded lottery grant

  1. Good news – it’s a shame when historic landmarks like this get destroyed. The other pier in Brighton always makes me sad when I see it!

    • It is especially when it’s an arson attack. I remember when the West Pier in Brighton went up in flames. It was such a sad sight. It’s interesting to photograph though. But I think it’s good for Hastings and great that they’re getting the college to involved. Pier engineers is a different career!

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