Hastings Pier reopens following £14.2m restoration project

Local supporters and Heritage Lottery funding have helped restore ‘the people’s pier’ following fire damage and eight years of closure

After being closed for eight years, Hastings Pier has reopened to the public following a £14.2m restoration project. The historic pier was shut down for safety reasons in 2008 and was then almost completely destroyed by a fire in 2010.

Hastings Pier, which has now reopened after eight years of closure. East Sussex, UK
The historic pier reopened with a traditional fun fair. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

Thanks to fundraising from a local action group and a contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the 144-year-old pier, dubbed “the people’s pier”, has been returned to its former glory. The Lottery gave £11.4m to support the reconstruction, while 3,000 shareholders bought a stake in the project at £100 a share.

Hastings pier, a historic pier in East Sussex, UK,  fell into disrepair and significant damage was caused by a fire in 2010. This image shows some of the damage.
The historic pier fell into disrepair and significant damage was caused by a fire in 2010. Photograph: Alamy

Now the pier will host open-air film screenings and concerts, with Madness billed to headline the planned gala celebration of the completion of the works on Saturday 21 May. The Happy Mondays will also play on the pier later this year, as will bands the Levellers and Turin Brakes.

Residents enjoy the view from the long-awaited new pier at Hastings.
Residents enjoy the view from the long-awaited new pier. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

The reopening of the pier is being handled in phases. From Wednesday 27 April, the bar, restaurant and a traditional funfair in the pier’s pavilion building will be open. This will be followed shortly by the opening of a new cafe and roof terrace. The Hastings Pier Charity believe the new pier will bring 300,000 more visitors to the town each year, contributing more than a £1m to the local economy.


Will Coldwell

The GuardianTramp

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