Food to be sold at Birnbeck Pier as North Somerset Council confirms building lease

Members and supporters of the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. Photo by Jeremy Long.

Members and supporters of the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. Photo by Jeremy Long. - Credit: Jeremy Long \ JCL Photography

Hot food could soon be sold next to Weston-super-Mare’s Birnbeck Pier, after North Somerset Council agreed to lease one of the structure’s historic mainland buildings to the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust.

The building, which sits next to the Pier View information centre and the grade-II listed Toll Lodge building in Birkett Road, is owned by the council. It was previously used as a retail outlet after a storm destroyed the previous building in 1903.

The trust, which is campaigning to fully restore Birnbeck, announced at the start of 2016 that it wanted to open a food outlet at the site.

However, its plans now look to be a step closer to becoming a reality after the council agreed to lease the building to the group at a peppercorn rent for 99 years.

Council documents concerning the decision revealed the trust will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance of the building. The documents also show the council considered transferring the building’s freehold to the trust, but the authority wanted to retain some control over the site.

A spokesman for the Trust announced the group could possibly rename the building Colonel Charlie’s once it is up and running.

The spokesman said: “The Trust would like to reopen this building as a high-class food outlet, which will sell locally-sourced sausages and burgers in rolls and baps, all to be enhanced with the finest of condiments.

“All profits will thereafter go directly towards helping the Trust deliver its main aim of saving Birnbeck Pier.”

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The Trust also told the Mercury it planned to reopen the building in the New Year, but it added the restoration of any of the Birnbeck buildings could not go ahead without help from the charity’s ‘amazing’ band of volunteers.

The spokesman said: “This is the continuation of the journey we are on to save Birnbeck.

“We are nearing the completion of preserving the outside of Pier View and we hope to soon start work on the coastal path and, in the New Year, reopen this building.

“It is all down to the efforts of our amazing volunteer force.”

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