Birnbeck Pier trust kicks off new fundraising campaign
PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 January 2016
Jeremy Long \ JCL Photography
Campaigners battling to restore Weston's historic Birnbeck Pier have launched a major fundraising appeal, which could see hot food and drinks go on sale at the site this year.
The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust wants to turn one of the pier’s mainland buildings into a food outlet, which will serve hot snacks and drinks to people visiting the area.
The trust is in the process of raising money to revive the crumbling pier as a Victorian-style amusement attraction.
It needs to raise £40,000 to complete a structural survey, but it hopes that opening a food stall will encourage people to pay the site a visit in the meantime.
The trust’s project manager Richie Griffin said: “We want to open it as a hot food stand that just serves sausages and burgers and drinks.
“It is really just to try and get people coming to this end of town and raising more awareness of our plans – we have started this project, and we will finish it.”
Mr Griffin also said the trust had plans in place to host several events at the site off Birkett Road during 2016, including live music nights and a market.
He said: “We will use the stand to host events here – for example, we would have acoustic bands playing down here and we are looking at having a ‘battle of the bands’ event.
“We also want to have a market here as there used to be one in the 1980s. Car boot sales are another good idea as well.”
However, Mr Griffin stressed that the project would not be possible unless supporters came forward with building materials and supplies to donate to the cause.
The building in question, which is grade II-listed, is in need of total renovation before it can be used.
Mr Griffin said: “We can only do it (the food stall project) through volunteering as we do not have the funds, so we are looking for people to donate their time or any materials.
“We can only move forward thanks to people’s generosity, so the sooner we have the equipment in place, the sooner we can open up.
“We need joists, doors, track lighting, plasterboard insulation, a gas boiler system, radiators, security alarms and timber. We also need glass for the windows.
“If there are any tradesmen or builders out there who could help, we would ask them to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
“They can also visit the Pier View information centre.”
The trust is also encouraging people to donate money towards its Pound For The Pier fundraising campaign.
To donate, text BBRT15 plus the amount you wish to give to 70070.