Council rules out £8m piers deal

Central Pier in Blackpool
Central Pier in Blackpool
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Town Hall bosses today said they will “never close the door” on taking over two Blackpool piers that have been put up for sale – but have no current plans to buy them.

As reported in yesterday’s Gazette, current owners Cuerden Leisure have put South and Central piers on the market with a combined price tag of £8.1m.

Claire Smith

Claire Smith

And despite calls from local businesses and heritage chiefs, the council has said it has no immediate plans to take the piers under its wing.

But Blackpool Council cabinet member for tourism, Coun Graham Cain, said: “Initially we won’t be interested in taking on the piers.

“Of course we would never close the door and we will always listen to people who come in with a proposal.

“What we want is that the piers continue to operate as a successful enterprise.

“Whoever buys them will need to continue with the maintenance and investment that has taken place in recent years.

“They are very special structures and are iconic.

“We are very fortunate to have three piers in Blackpool when you consider that many incidents have caused so many piers across the country to be lost.

“We want our piers to be there for the next generation.We don’t want someone to come along and make a quick buck and not invest in them.

“The piers need to be constantly revived and new ideas put in place. That’s our ultimate aim.”

A new source of funding may be available to potential investors after it was announced last week that a new £3m fund has been 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.