South Parade Pier campaigners look to architects for big inspiration

South Parade Pier in Southsea.''Picture: Sarah Standing (124039-7324)
South Parade Pier in Southsea.''Picture: Sarah Standing (124039-7324)
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CAMPAIGNERS seeking to save South Parade Pier want to use Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier as a model for success.

The People’s Pier wants to learn from the work that’s been done at the attraction, which is in north Somerset.

The pier, which is made up of family amusement rides, was rebuilt at a cost of £39m following a fire in 2008.

But the restoration costs here would be much less because the foundations are already in place.

The message follows a meeting held between the pier group, Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and Roger Ellams, director of Angus Meek Architects, which designed and built the Grand Pier.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We came up with some very useful things.

‘The pier in Weston-super-Mare mainly has dodgems and other amusement rides.

‘It’s sort of fairground stuff. What it does is make a profit.

‘Whatever happens at South Parade Pier, it needs to make a profit.

‘If you put something on there that doesn’t make a profit then it’s not a successful business and it will inevitably shut.

‘We have learnt from the pier at Weston-super-Mare.’

As previously reported, The People’s Pier, which wants to take over South Parade Pier, is coming up with a business plan which outlines how it intends to turn it around.

Leon Reis, chairman of the pier group, said: ‘What they have done at Weston-super-Mare is very relevant to the business plan we are working on.

‘We invited Mr Ellams down because he helped to build a wonderful pier.

‘It’s just amazing. It needs to be seen by anyone interested in this.’

Mr Reis said around £125,000 is needed to help cover the cost of people giving them professional advice. ‘We need the money right now,’ he said.

‘Three years ago we had a pier which was open and people could walk from one end to the other.

‘It had an annual maintenance programme.

‘It has now been reduced to two shops and a small dark arcade and nothing else.’

To donate visit peoplespier.org/donate