Observer comment: Hooray for Hastings Pier

FOR months, the question on everybody’s lips has been: “When will work start on the pier?”

In fact it started many moons ago, with the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust, and now Hastings Pier Charity, and the support of many other organisations.

This week, all the frenzied work behind the scenes has become evident, as the pier is back in local ownership and renovations are set to begin (page 1).

It really was a big moment for Hastings and St Leonards on Thursday, when project engineer Peter Wheeler symbolically cut the chain that has secured the gates, and they swung open.

Local interest in our pier cannot be overestimated, an interest which has remained despite many months of waiting for this moment.

Now the time is ripe for the wider community to get involved, as the pier takes shape over the next 18 months.

Not only will the community showroom be tracking the progress of the building work, but there will be a raft of educational projects, along with calls for people to share their memories of the pier. This, and the chance to have a say in the running of the pier by becoming a community shareholder.

Exciting times ahead for sure.