Government boost for pier initiative

EFFORTS to preserve Bognor Regis Pier have been highlighted by the government.

The Bognor Pier Trust’s work was included in a statement about a new £3m fund to help kick-start the revival of at-risk coastal heritage.

C15006-2 Bog Feb12 Pier  phot kate'Chairman of the Friends of Bognor Regis Pier, Jan Malpas, front, with committee members, back from left: Hazel Denman, Janet Perkins, and Sue White.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C15006-2 SUS-150902-143427001

C15006-2 Bog Feb12 Pier phot kate'Chairman of the Friends of Bognor Regis Pier, Jan Malpas, front, with committee members, back from left: Hazel Denman, Janet Perkins, and Sue White.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C15006-2 SUS-150902-143427001

The Coastal Revival Fund was announced last Friday by the department for communities and local government.

The fund will support lidos and piers failing to reach their full potential or facing neglect.

Coastal communities minister Penny Mordaunt said: “There is enormous potential in our coastal areas that we are determined to unlock so they can rise up and create new jobs and play a key part in our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain.

“Our new heritage fund is an important catalyst for drawing in additional funding and community goodwill that will get the revival of hard-to-tackle local coastal attractions underway and support new businessess.”

The inclusion of Bognor’s pier as one of four in the announcement to potentially gain from the fund was welcomed by Bognor Pier Trust.

Its chairman, Paul Wells, said: “We are extremely pleased that our project has been highlighted by the National Piers Society as one of the piers nationally that could benefit from this new fund to be announced by the government.”

Pier consultant Jess Steele, who is helping the trust, said: “This is the perfect chance for us to take action now to ensure a bright future for Bognor Regis Pier.”

The trust was set up in late 2013 to bring the pier back into community ownership with the help of current owner John Ayers and to help with preserving, restoring and enhancing it as part of the town’s overall regeneration.

The trust aims to restore the pier to the elegant and traditional attraction of yesteryear and to secure its future by protecting it from further damage or loss to its structure.

Grants from the fund will be used to get restoration projects started by funding initial work as a catalyst that attracts extra cash.

The trust is being backed by the Observer in its work to submit a £5m bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund this August to enable it to take on the pier.