When I visited Hastings pier earlier this year, the future looked very bleak indeed, with the burnt out shell of the pier slowly rusting into the sea.
I feared it was heading for a fate similar to the tragic one that befell Brighton West Pier.
[Hastings Pier in 2005 – more pics here]
Today, The Independent is reporting that the Grade II-listed, 280m-long pier will have its iron super-structure restored, with new facilities being built as part of a regeneration programme covering the centre of Hastings.
Built in 1872 and designed by the celebrated Victorian engineer Eugenius Birch, the pier’s pavilion hosted some big names in the 1960s and 1970s including Jimi Hendrix, Tom Jones and Pink Floyd.
The £11.4m Lottery grant should now ensure its future. Hooray!
Update from the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust [19/11/12]:
We are absolutely delighted to be able to inform you that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded Hastings Pier a grant of £11.4 million towards the total project cost of £13.9 million for the rescue and restoration of the Pier.
This is a great result for the Pier and the town of Hastings and it means that we are within touching distance of the fundraising goal needed to start the rebuilding of the Pier. We thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their formidable support, which is essential to the future of the Pier.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters, without whom we would certainly not have reached this significant milestone. The fierce commitment of the Pier’s supporters has been a unique feature of the battle to save the Pier, and we hope very much that we will continue to benefit from their encouragement and contribution as we move forward.
Clearly we still have much work to do and over the coming weeks we will be setting out our plans for the project and how we intend to achieve our final goal of reopening the Pier by the end of 2014.
For now let’s celebrate this truly momentous decision that has given hope and life to the Pier and our project to rescue it. To those who have supported us we say: Thank you so much for your support; it really has made all the difference.