Birnbeck Pier trust could win £25k in Aviva Community Fund awards – but it needs your help

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust would use the money to support its plan to restore Birnbeck Pier.

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust would use the money to support its plan to restore Birnbeck Pier. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners battling to save Weston’s Birnbeck Pier are calling on the public to help them secure tens of thousands of pounds in funding from a national scheme.

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust has applied for a £25,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund, which will hand out grants to more than 800 projects across the country.

Projects can apply for funding in four different brackets, ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000, but schemes will only progress to the next stage of the competition if they secure enough votes from the public.

The Trust is now calling on Westonians to back their bid – which, if it is successful, will see trustees and volunteers build a temporary education and fundraising centre on the mainland overlooking the pier, in Birkett Road.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “People can place up to 10 votes and support our bid to win funds to place a temporary building on the promenade, outside Pier View.

“With this, we can offer a Birnbeck Pier Community Education and Learning Centre, where we can provide a place for the community and visitors to learn more about the pier’s history and regeneration project, along with a space for groups or individuals to come and carry out activities focusing on the Birnbeck area.”

If the Trust’s bid is successful, it says it will spend £12,000 on buying a Portakabin, alongside spending a further £8,400 on recruiting an initial part-time volunteer and learning co-ordinator for one year.

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The remaining funds would then be spent on buying equipment for the building and paying for services such as lighting.

The spokesman also said it was no longer possible to continue running the Trust’s awareness and fundraising activities from its current base at Pier View.

The spokesman said: “The early work to encourage community awareness of the plight of the pier started in early 2015 and, with the consent of the owners, was run from Pier View. This is a small building beside the pier, which also continues to serve refreshments in return for small donations.

“We have now outgrown this building.”

The voting stage of the competition closes on November 18 and finalists will be announced on November 22. The winners will then be chosen by a judging panel and these will be revealed on January 10, 2017.

To cast your vote for the Trust, visit the Aviva Community Fund website.