Birnbeck Pier to return to its former glory?

Birnbeck Pier, Weston.

Birnbeck Pier, Weston. - Credit: Archant

CAMPAIGNERS aiming to save Birnbeck Pier have told the Mercury they want to build a hotel, a restaurant, rides and a museum as part of their scheme to restore the historic site.

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust.

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. - Credit: Archant

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust wants to lease the pier from owner CNM Estates, before applying for £17million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The trust has said the pier’s owner, Wahid Samady, is ‘keen’ to work with them to organise a 25-year lease of the structure; however, the trust must also raise at least £80,000 to carry out a feasibility study if the plan is to be a success.

If the lease is finalised and the study is completed, the trust will then apply to the HLF for funding to restore the pier.

A public meeting, which will be held in Weston-super-Mare on August 7, will discuss the plans in more detail and outline ways the trust plans to raise money.

Birnbeck Pier.

Birnbeck Pier. - Credit: Archant

The trust’s project manager Richie Griffin said: “Mr Samady is unlikely to sell it, but he is very keen to work with us and negotiate the terms of a lease.

“It is not finalised and it will be down to the availability of funding, but it is certainly what we are all working towards.”

Following advice from the HLF, the trust has broken its plan down into four proposals, which will be submitted as separate funding bids.

The first proposal includes a full refurbishment of the car park, the main bridge and the RNLI buildings. The Pier View building overlooking the structure would be turned into a tea shop, while one of the RNLI buildings could become a museum.

Mr Griffin said: “Our first goal will be to undertake a feasibility study with a full structural survey and in order to do this, we need to raise between £80-100,000.

Most Read

“But the sooner we can complete the study, the sooner we can submit bids to the HLF – and we want to submit one next year.

“The four proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This is more sustainable and means we can start opening buildings and raising money for the next stage right away.”

The public meeting to discuss the plans will take place at 6pm on August 7 at the Boulevard United Reformed Church, in Waterloo Street.