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Work begins on historic pier restoration

Work has finally begun to restore the fire-ravaged Hastings' historic pier. And before the first major phase begins - Meridian was invited to walk the length of the structure to see the scale of the challenge ahead.

The pier was opened in August 1872. Over the years it underwent a series of improvements but in 1996 it was put up for sale. It finally closed to the public in June 2006 but was damaged by storms. In July 2010, the council compulsorily purchased the pier.

Later that year it was severely damaged in an arson attack. Restoration work began this week and is due to be complete in Easter 2015. John Ryall reports.

D-Day for pier future

Workers assess the damage after the fire on Hastings Pier Credit: PA

Lottery officials are visiting Hastings Pier today, after it was badly damaged by a major fire in 2010. The fact finding visit will help the Heritage Lottery Fund decide later this month whether to approve an £11m bid from the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust to rebuild the structure.

Peter Chowney, from Hastings Borough Council, said: “We have seen some very welcome investment in Hastings over recent years, and there is a real positive feel about our future. Our seafront is a key part of that – it’s our shop window, it’s what investors see in our town."

The future of the Hastings Pier remains undecided Credit: PA

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Save our pier

Hastings Pier
Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust should own the pier by the end of the year Credit: HPWRT

The Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust says it's making good progress with its Compulsory Purchase Order to own Hastings Pier by the end of the year.

But it's appealing for as many people as possible to join the Trust for 2012.

They say the project will be better with community support.

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