Be first to name a plank on new pier

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PIER-loving locals can become the owner of the first new plank on Hastings Pier thanks to a competition run by the campaign group fighting to save the attraction.

The Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust recently unveiled the architects firm which will charged with designing a new look pier.

And the group continues to work with Hastings Borough Council over the mooted compulsory purchase of the Victorian era structure from current owners Ravenclaw Investments.

The future of the pier remains uncertain, but members of the trust are determined to push ahead with their plans to first repair and then re-open it.

And, to encourage more people to join the trust’s ranks, anyone signing up as a member for 2011 will be entered into a draw - with the winner being allowed to adopt the first plank.

Annual membership costs £10 for adults, £5 for pensioners or students or £200 for a life membership. That entitles people to vote during future discussions on the pier, be invited to the annual general meeting and receive a regular newsletter.

Membership runs from April through to March and anyone re-newing existing membership or joining up for the first time will have their name thrown in the hat - as long as they do so before April 30. The draw will take place on May 7, with the winner announced in the Observer.

Sponsorship packages will also be available for anyone who wants to dedicate a plank to a loved one, with the cost likely to be £50 per plank.

All proceeds will go towards any future restoration of the pier - with money being kept in an escrow account until work starts. For more information, or to download a membership form, visit www.hpwrt.co.uk, email info@hpwrt.co.uk or call into the trust’s seafront store on White Rock.