Hastings Pier volunteer drive

The latest architect's illustration of what the pier will look like once completed
The latest architect's illustration of what the pier will look like once completed

The charity behind the £14.2m renovation of Hastings Pier is looking for volunteers to support planned visitor attractions, events, schools activities and retail outlets.

Hastings Pier Charity (HPC) believes it could attract up to 300,000 additional visitors to the town each year, for experiences including an open air cinema, live music performances and funfairs.

According to its website, the pier should open: ‘no later than mid April’.

“Volunteers will play a huge role and will be an integral part of the pier’s success,” said operations manager Karen Trimmings.

“There will be opportunities in events, retail, visitor services, and education and heritage interpretation, giving all volunteers the chance to build on their current skillset and gain valuable experience in the tourism and entertainment sector.”

Hastings Pier Charity will be hosting a volunteer recruitment day at the White Rock Hotel on Tuesday, March 8.

From midday to 3pm, attendees will have the chance to meet the team, register their interest and find out more about the roles on offer.

There will be talks at midday, 1pm and 2pm.

HPC chief executive Simon Opie said volunteers had played a ‘major part’ in the project so far.

“We are very grateful to all of our volunteers, for their tireless commitment and support and are excited to be able to welcome more people to our friendly team in a range of new visitor-focused roles,” he said.

After a major fire in 2010 nearly destroyed the pier it was saved by campaigning efforts of the local community.

The project received a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund grant, as well as strong support from a community share scheme which attracted more than 3,000 investors, many of whom are from Hastings.

Once open, the pier will host a wide range of events – from a Summer Circus and open-air cinema screenings, to a funfair and live music events.

The newly-built visitor’s centre will feature a digital archive exploring the pier’s heritage, which has been largely contributed to by residents.

There will also be the opportunity to buy gifts from the pier shop and local businesses in the retail kiosks, dine in the restaurant located in the one remaining original – and now restored – building, and enjoy panoramic ocean views on the roof terrace café.

Anyone unable to attend the recruitment day who would like more information can contact education and volunteer coordinator Jo McLaughlan on 01424 424555 or email: volunteering@hpcharity.co.uk.

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