Hastings Pier reopens Easter 2016

Hastings Pier – Reopens Easter 2016.
Simon Opie Hastings Pier Charity. http://www.hpcharity.co.uk

EASTER 2016 Opening Date for New Pier

Hastings Pier is to open for business Monday 21st. March 2016, the start of the Easter holidays, as works complete later this year, “we’re really disappointed not to be opening earlier but the storms in February 2014 caused a significant amount of additional damage and pushed back the works three months or more; almost all the work will be finished this year but not completed in time to open the pier during any of the traditional seaside trading months”, said CEO of the Hastings Pier Charity, Simon Opie. The charity has ruled out opening the pier in the winter.

Completion is expected around October this year after storm delays to the build schedule, “that storm, the same one that ripped the railway up in Dawlish, created big problems for us and meant us rethinking the demolition of the old ballroom,” said Opie. A floating barge became necessary as the storm damage made the pier too dangerous to be used as the demolition platform. “The additional costs weren’t a problem as we’d insured the structure, but the wait time for the barge and the extra work added to the build schedule and we just haven’t been able to catch up.”

But people will get the chance to get on the pier well before next March; Christmas pop-up attractions are planned, including a Christmas fair and possibly a skating rink, as Opie is keen to get the pier being used as soon as possible. “Its vital the pier is financially viable; all the money raised paid for the restoration but once finished the pier must pay its way. And most importantly, its a pier for Hastings, its a local attraction and a local asset for townspeople and visitors alike.”

The total renovation costs will exceed £14m, the lion’s share a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £11.4m whilst over 3,000 people, the majority local to the area bought community shares in the company that will own and operate the pier, “ which ensures the pier passes to local, and involved, ownership, a vital step in securing its future,” said Opie.

Kevin Boorman, Head of Marketing at Hastings Borough Council commented,
“2016 was always going to be a big year for Hastings, this now gives residents and visitors alike another chance to celebrate (2016 will be 950th. anniversary of the Battle of Hastings). There is massive interest in the pier, and I, along with many other people, look forward to 21st March 2016, a date that is firmly in my diary.”

Full details of the pop-up Christmas attractions, and other opportunities for locals and groups to visit the pier before full opening, will be available September / October this year.

Andy Qunta… Excellent!

Sandra Boakes… Great news