Pier campaigners pull out all the stops for lottery visit

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to restore Hastings Pier welcomed a team from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to town last week - but now they need you to help secure funding for its future.

The Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT) pulled out all the stops for the delegation’s trip to 1066 Country in its bid to win £8 million with announcements on the trains welcoming the group and their route through town festooned with posters and banners.

The HLF team visited Sussex Coast College, the pier shop at Arthur Green’s, spoke with the council and the architects, had a tour under the iconic structure and heard a presentation led by trustee Jess Steele.

Ray Chapman, chairman of the HPWRT, said: “We were extremely pleased with the day and we know the HLF team was impressed. They got a good feel of our organisation and saw we are ready to take on this spend to regenerate and revitalise the pier for the community.”

But with only £30 million up for grabs and major institutions like the British Museum and the Imperial War Museum also submitting applications, Mr Chapman is not taking anything for granted.

He revealed the trust had been sounded out about delaying their application until next year, but he said: “It really needs to be this year. The town is really up for it, the community is engaged and involved and the trustees are working harder than ever before.”

Now the trust is calling on local people to write to Dame Jenny Abramsky, the chairman of the national Heritage Lottery Fund board which will make the final decision.

“The bigger her post bag is and the more noise we make the more chance we will have of getting the money this year,” Mr Chapman said.

He urged people to send their letters to Dame Jenny Abramsky, National Heritage memorial Fund, 7 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NR.

The trust thanked Southern and Southeastern train companies, John Hough, Rob Woods and the town centre management team, Sussex Coast College, and everyone else who helped make the visit such a success.