- 3 updates
The financing of piers can be "a real challenge" but they remain a "national asset", the former minister for tourism has said.
John Penrose, the MP for Weston-Super-Mare - an area famed for its pier - backed calls for them to be moved from private ownership into the hands of the local community.
Piers are "trapped in a cycle" of poor ownership which is not managing the upkeep of the popular seaside attractions, according to the author of a report on British piers.
In future, the raised structures should be looked after by the community in which the stand, says the report.
Historic piers are under threat due to poor management, rising maintenance costs and rocketing insurance bills, new research has shown.
Sporadic conservation and neglectful ownership have left Britain's once prized seaside attractions on the verge of crumbling into the sea, said Jess Steele, the author of the People's Piers report.
Piers should be taken into community ownership in order to safeguard their future - as Hastings Pier is now - to protect them from corrosive sea water, owners who cannot provide for high maintenance and insurance costs.
There were 57 piers under threat in the UK, according to Miss Steele.
At present 56 percent of piers are privately owned, with 39 percent in local authority hands and 5 percent in community ownership, the report said.