Fund bid to ensure no end of the pier

North Pier
North Pier
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Fylde coast piers are hoping they will benefit from a new £3m Government fund set up to unlock the economic potential of seaside structures.

The Government’s Coastal Revival Fund is aimed at facilities such as piers, lidos and promenades which are a key part of the UK’s traditional seaside heritage.

It is hoped grants will act as a catalyst to drive forward projects which can then attract additional funding.

North Pier owner Peter Sedwick said any financial help would be welcome.

He added: “North Pier is one heck of a ship to keep out of the sea so any additional funding opportunities like this are very welcome.

“We are already working with the heritage people here in Blackpool because while we have already invested a lot in the pier, there is still an awful lot to do.

“It is a big struggle and the recent storms set us back three or four years from where we wanted to be.

“North Pier is 150 years old and is loved by a lot of people. We are looking forward to this year and there will be plenty going on. But everything the pier takes in income goes back into its maintenance.”

Chris Christou, company secretary of St Annes Pier, said the maintenance of the pier was a “never ending” job.

He said: “We are currently investigating ways of protecting the metal infrastructure of the pier.

“Over the last 10 years we have replaced practically all the main structural beams under the pier which amounts to more than £1m of expenditure, but it is a never ending challenge.

“So any sort of money that is made available will help us in that cause.

“Recently we have had a joint effort with the council putting lighting on the pier and for the front areas to be redone, but mainly the onus is on us to keep the pier maintained.”

Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “There is enormous potential in our coastal areas that we are determined to unlock.

“Our new heritage fund is an important catalyst for drawing in additional funding and community goodwill that will get the revival of hard-to-tackle local coastal attractions underway and support new businesses.”