Grand Pier owners to receive royal honours
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 June 2012
THE OWNERS of Weston's Grand Pier will be officially recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Siblings Kerry and Michelle Michael will receive MBEs from Her Majesty for services to the restoration of the seafront attraction after its devastating fire in July 2008.
A spokesman for the Cabinet Office outlined the pair’s commitment to rebuilding the attraction and protecting the town from downturn.
The spokesman said about the pier fire: “The shore end was reopened just three days after the fire and operated at a loss in order to help the town attract visitors throughout the summer months.
“The Red Arrows were paid to perform a display over the ruined structure to prevent the town from suffering economically.”
The setting up of the Axenti Michael Trust, which has donated thousands of pounds to local charities, was also highlighted.
Kerry Michael, aged 52, said: “To be recognised and honoured for our work in rebuilding the Grand Pier is very humbling and was completely unexpected.
“After the fire the main aim was to get the Grand Pier up and running as soon as possible. It is an iconic landmark and has huge importance for the whole town.
“This fantastic honour is recognition for everyone who was involved in the design, building and reopening of the Grand Pier in record time and we are delighted to be going to the palace to collect this honour on their behalf.
“I would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone involved as well as our family and friends who have supported us throughout.”
Miss Michael added: “We are absolutely delighted that we have received these awards and very humbled.”