Public sector cash is the key to saving pier - council

Birnbeck Pier

Birnbeck Pier - Credit:

DISCUSSIONS on the future of Birnbeck Pier will be held with English Heritage, North Somerset Council and stakeholders, after officers confirmed that national funding is needed to restore the site.

While businessman Wahid Samady told the Mercury last week he needs to raise £10million to save the pier, council officers argue that public sector funding has to be a key part of any solution.

The authority has also stated the pier, which is currently privately owned by Urban Splash, will also need ‘some degree’ of commercial development to contribute to the overall costs and its on-going maintenance. This is because, due to the site being privately owned, it is not currently eligible for English Heritage or National Lottery funding, in the same way buildings owned by public or voluntary sector bodies are.

A council spokesman said: “Any development would need to be sympathetic to the conservation, environmental and historic values associated (to the pier).

“With this end in mind, the council is holding discussions with English Heritage and other heritage stakeholders regarding the need for a more up-to -date appraisal of what works are needed.

“North Somerset Council wants to see the restoration of Birnbeck Pier and would want to secure the presence of the RNLI station.”

The authority also said if the current arrangements are unsuitable it will work with the charity to find a temporary location.