South Parade Pier gets £50,000 boost

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PORTSMOUTH’S South Parade Pier is to get a £50,000 cash boost from the government.

The pier, which is going through a makeover by its new owners after laying derelict for a number of years, put in a bid for the government’s Coastal Revival Fund.

The money will contribute towards repairs and replacement of the pier’s roofs, which are now at an ‘end of life’ condition.

These urgent works will ensure all roofs are watertight and support the wider restoration of the Grade II listed pier.

The pier beat stiff competition from the oversubscribed £3m funding pot, which attracted £9m worth of bids, and the project was considered ‘one of the very best’.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘I’m delighted that South Parade Pier has been awarded £50k from the Coastal Revival Fund, which will go towards the on going restoration of this iconic Victorian structure.

‘I would like to place on record my thanks to the Minister for Portsmouth for his help and support securing these funds for the city.’

Tommy Ware Jnr, part of the South Parade Pier consortium, said: ‘The funding is great news and really helps towards speeding up the restoration effort.

‘We’re well on track to open in the summer.

‘Once the roof work is completed and the building is watertight we can start work on the inside over the winter.

‘Every little bit helps and we have more exciting news to announce after Christmas, we’re really keen to get everything up and running and looking forward to opening.

‘On behalf of everyone involved I’d like to thank the community for being so very supportive and also express our thanks to the workers on the pier who are out there in all weather conditions bringing it back to life.’

The funding application outlined the importance of the pier to the city’s heritage, which began life 1875 as a jetty for the Isle of Wight and by the early 20th century was welcoming four steamers a day.

Following a fire in 1904, which destroyed the original structure, it was redesigned as a pleasure pier, with pavilion theatre, bar and lounge. Its construction represented innovation in its time and the pier remains one of the very few to have a concrete deck.

The funding has to be spent by 31 March 2016.