Work starts to stop Hastings pier collapsing

Hastings Pier after the fire
Hastings Pier after the fire

WORK was due to start on Monday (August 1), stabilising the most vulnerable parts of Hastings pier.

Following last October’s devastating fire, the Victorian attraction has become more prone to collapse.

The pier has since been awarded a major Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of more than £8million to help restore it.

The £100,000 cost of the urgent works comes from a separate successful funding application to English Heritage.

They are needed to help support part of the pier structure that is most at risk of collapse, particularly at high tides and in high winds.

The pier is still owned by Panamanian-registered Ravenclaw, and it remains its responsibility, although the council’s work to compulsorily purchase it is underway.

The council alerted Ravenclaw to the need for the works and advised the firm that unless it responded, the authority would then serve Ravenclaw with the urgent works notice. No response has been received from Ravenclaw so the council will now carry out the work.

Councillor Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration, said: “This is a vital first step towards safeguarding the future of Hastings pier. Although HLF has been very generous with its grant, it will still be some time before work proper can start. In the meantime, this much-loved structure remains very vulnerable to collapse, particularly at high tide and bad weather. The funding from English Heritage will allow us to stabilise the pier, helping to safeguard it until the major restoration work can begin.”

He said he hoped the rebuilding of the pier would start within a year to 18 months time.