Birnbeck Pier receives another funding boost


Birnbeck Pier is to be awarded a £234,761 development grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the repair and regeneration of the Grade II* listed pier.

This initial support from the Heritage Fund has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players and will help North Somerset Council progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £4.75million at a later date.

This will be phase two of the regeneration project which aims to carry out essential conservation to the pier once phase one works are completed. This announcement follows on from a recent £3.55million funding success from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, which will save the ‘legs’ of the pier and reinstate access to the island.

Since opening in 1867, Birnbeck Pier has been an integral part of Western-super-Mare. It has played many different roles over the years – a traditional pleasure pier, a stage for one of the great bands of all time, The Beatles and where the RNLI used to call home.

However, in 1994 the pier was closed to the public and was placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. In 2014 the RNLI were forced to leave their station on the island because the pier had become too dangerous.

Commenting on the award, Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Placemaking and Economy at North Somerset Council, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. This money will fund phase one of the project once the initial emergency works are completed, allowing us to start renovating the buildings on the island and the landside, as well as community focused work.

“The funding will open more doors for us and help us to continue momentum in our renovation of Birnbeck, get the RNLI back onto the island and restore public access to this Victorian treasure.”

The recent funding announcements show how multiple partners are working together to save the pier with organisations including North Somerset Council, RNLI, Historic England and the Heritage Fund.

Stuart McLeod, Director England, London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Birnbeck Pier is one of the greatest examples of Victorian Engineering that we have and it’s imperative we work together to save this important heritage for future generations. We are delighted to support North Somerset Council and other partners with this important restoration project. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have given initial support to phase two of the restoration project and look forward to working with the team ahead of their full grant application.”

Birnbeck Pier has initially been granted round one development funding of £236,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £4,75million.