Blackpool's piers to get share of global cash fund

People enjoying Big Pier Watch Day on North Pier last weekend
People enjoying Big Pier Watch Day on North Pier last weekend
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Blackpool's three piers are on a list of global heritage gems set to share in a $1m (£748,000) pot of cash.

American Express and World Monuments Fund has included the resort on a list of eight endangered cultural sites which will receive grants.

Blackpool Council heritage chiefs had bid for £200,000 but it is not yet known how much the piers will get.

Carl Carrington, head of heritage at Blackpool Council, said: "It is very good news although we have yet to find out how much money we have got.

"There are some other very needy cases also on the list.

"But we have also bid for funding from the British Monuments Fund and it is almost certain we will be getting significant help from them."

The money is to help preserve sites facing threats including climate change.

Rising sea levels and increased storm surges are seen as a potential risk to Blackpool's piers.

Also on the list are Potager du Roi in Versailles, France; Grand Theater of Prince Kung’s Mansion in Beijing, China; the town of Amatrice, Italy; Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium in Takamatsu, Japan; Tebaida Leonesa in León, Spain; Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape in Matobo, Zimbabwe; and Monte Albán Archaeological Site in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Timothy McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, said: “As the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Watch, American Express is committed to advocating for the protection of our most treasured landmarks around the globe.

“We recognise these sites as symbols of national and local identity, and value the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing communities.”

The World Monuments Watch works with communities to bring cultural heritage sites to an international stage.

The piers are owned by Peter Sedgwick who has invested around £300,000 during the winter into the structures.

But being on the list means the council can take the lead in applying for grants, including from sources which are otherwise not available to private organisations.

A Big Pier Watch Day was held at North Pier on Saturday to highlight their importance to the resort.