PUBLIC support will be vital to ensure a bid to revitalise Bognor Regis pier gets off the ground.
Bognor Regis town mayor Paul Wells has said residents need to get behind the newly formed Bognor Pier Trust to help bring the historic landmark back into shape.
Cllr Wells, who is also the chairman of the pier trust, outlined the group’s ambitions at the Bognor Regis Civic Society’s meeting last Friday.
He said: “What we really need is public support. Over the years we have seen similar plans to get something like this for the pier off the ground, back in the 60s and 70s, but these schemes failed I believe largely because of a lack of public support and backing.
“It is fair to say that the pier has been on the agenda for many years.
“I am not saying it is going to be quick and easy, we have already met with the people behind Hastings pier, it took them five years to achieve what they have, but hopefully public support would act as a catalyst and help us move things forward.”
Cllr Wells said he along with the trust felt now was the time to strike in terms of funding.
“Last year we had the Olympics and there was swaths of money going into that, now we need to look at funding from organisations like the lottery,” said Cllr Wells.
Passionate pier supporter Mike Jupp said: “What we need to do is to great something iconic. Instead of talking about restoring the pier, we need to be talking about bringing it into the 21st century.
“We need to rejuvenate it and make it relevant to today, we need to make it something unique for Bognor.”
To celebrate the launch of the trust a Caribbean party will take place on the pier’s top deck on September 1.
Tickets for the event cost £10 and include a glass of punch and hog roast.
They are available from The Picturedrome, Heaps Pcs, Woods Travel, Unique Printing and Embroidery and the pier’s cash desk.
Trust member Ian Harding said he had visited independent town centre shops and businesses distributing flyers and posters who were supportive.