Work to restore Bognor’s pier backed

C150038-1 Bog Feb26 Friends  phot kate'The Friends of Bognor Regis Pier, Lesley Thomas, Jan Malpas, Paul Vanzeebroeck, Tricia Gore and Jean Stow.  Picture by Kate Shemilt.C150038-1 SUS-150223-180652001
C150038-1 Bog Feb26 Friends phot kate'The Friends of Bognor Regis Pier, Lesley Thomas, Jan Malpas, Paul Vanzeebroeck, Tricia Gore and Jean Stow. Picture by Kate Shemilt.C150038-1 SUS-150223-180652001

SHOPPERS could help a pier secure a £5m grant.

The shoppers have been backing the Friends of Bognor Regis Pier in its quest to show widespread support for the funding bid.

Scores of them have said why the historic structure is important to them.

Among those who gave their backing at the Friends’ first session in the town centre was Terry Levy.

He wrote a restored pier was ‘essential to the image of a forward-looking seaside venue’.

Friends’ chairman Jan Malpas said the opinions were essential to show the Heritage Lottery Fund proposals to update the pier had widespread backing.

“These comments will be going to the lottery fund so we can show them we have carried out a lot of community participation,” she said.

The response delighted Jan and fellow Friends, including Middleton residents Tricia Gore and Leslie Thomas, who staffed the stall at the southern end of the London Road precinct. The first stall day was last Wednesday.

This was followed by another session last Saturday. Both lasted for five hours.

Jan said the time had been well spent. Speaking at the initial event, she said: “We’ve signed up ten members today and given out over 200 application forms.

“This the first session of many we will be staging. Those here with me have come from all around the town.

“It just shows how people in Bognor want us to get this pier sorted out.”

Visitors to the stall also suggested fundraising ideas.

The Friends are backing the Bognor Pier Trust and its efforts to secure the money.

The trust is working with the pier’s owner, John Ayers, to plan its application to the lottery fund.

This will be made in August.

If it succeeds, the trust will take control of the pier and lease its buildings to Mr Ayers 
to continue his businesses.

The trust will 
restore the existing structure and, eventually, seek to take it back to its original length.

It has been given the use of a building on the pier by Mr Ayers.

A competition 
to name the 
building from 36 entries by the Friends saw The Pier Point chosen by trust officers on Monday.