Pier in line for revamp to mark 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 January 2014

View of Highbridge and Burnham Town Sign.

View of Highbridge and Burnham Town Sign.

Archant

A WELL-KNOWN tourist attraction could benefit from a six-figure investment which would see it overhauled to mark its 100th anniversary.

The owners of Burnham Pier want to celebrate its centenary by making a raft of improvements, including the installation of a 35ft retractable roof being added to the front at a potential cost of £100,000.

The pier, famous for being the shortest in the country, will also have new white lights added around its sides to replace the existing flashing bulbs.

Pier manager Louise Parkin said: “We are hoping to take out the conservatory, which Sedgemoor District Council has never liked, and replace it with a retractable roof covering the whole of the forecourt. When it is closed it will blend in with the existing buildings.

“It will actually be two roofs because the space, at about 35ft by 15ft, is bigger than the firm can make it, so two of them will go outwards from the centre.

“It will look very elegant now we are having the building repaired and repainted and new lighting added.”

Ms Parkin said she wants to concentrate on the pier’s catering provisions as it is proving increasingly difficult for its slot machines to compete with online gaming opportunities.

She added: “The catering is now an essential part of the pier. We can’t compete with the likes of online bingo or William Hill, so we are having to concentrate on the catering side, which is hard work.

“It’s about sustainability, the future is very important to us. This will give us more seating for catering and make it more suitable for all weathers.”

The pier owners are currently finalising their plans before submitting a planning application, but Ms Parkin said she hopes to have the works finished by 
the summer, ready for a celebratory event involving five Burnham brownie packs which are also marking their centenaries.

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