Hastings Pier The Council are applying for a compulsory purchase order from Panamanian-registered company Ravenclaw.

The Pier, closed since 2006, could, according to a recent survey be made safe for around three million pounds. Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust would be made responsible for getting the recommended work carried out. They would also take on the job of fund raising and obtaining grants.

Council leader Jeremy Birch claimed “We are committed to work with the pier trust to purchase the pier and pass it on to them.”

The £3m figure, which would come from grants from bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, would be sufficient to make the Pier structure safe.

The second stage would be to encourage businesses onto the pier to produce income. This would be used to promote further restoration and improvement.

Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust representative , Chris Dodswell, called on the support of the people of Hastings. “Although we will be raising the bulk of the money funds such as the Heritage Lottery Fund we will only raise the money if those funders see we have got the support of everyone in the town, which I believe we have.”

The project, if successful, will mean the grand old Hastings Ikon will live on for future generations to enjoy. It will attract holiday makers to the town and provide jobs, both during the reconditioning process and after, when the Pier is fully operational again.

Most of us have enjoyed the benefits that the Pier once offered, how many Hastings folk met their partners on the dance floor in the ballroom, fished from the Pier, took speedboat rides in summers gone or watched as their children fed the penny slot machines?

Very few of us cannot feel a pang of excitement with the prospect of this wonderful old symbol of Hastings being restored to former glory.

With the unprecedented rise in aviation fuel prices and the falling value of some foreign currencies more will be staying in Britain for their holidays. The re-opening of the Pier could bring many to Hastings.

Rye’s Own August 2010

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