Pier awarded huge grant

HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been rewarded to Clevedon Pier to help pay for new visitor facilities.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has granted �720,000 to the Victorian seafront attraction and this will be put toward creating a glass structure at the land end of the pier to contain a tearoom, shop, function room and exhibition space.

The project is expected to cost just more than �2million and will also see the existing tollhouse and sea-end pergoda refurbished and changes made to the Heritage Centre along the road.

The cost will also include employing two new staff members – a community engagement officer and a volunteers coordinator.

The HLF grant has been awarded at the same time as the organisation also agreed to give �595,000 toward a heritage and learning centre on the Leigh Woods side at Clifton Suspension Bridge.

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Chairman of the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Simon Talbot-Ponsonby said: “This is a huge step forward for the pier trust in helping us to achieve our ambition of providing good facilities for our visitors whilst also providing us with the means to become financially self-sufficient when it comes to carrying out all the essential maintenance needed on this beautiful pier.

“It is fantastic that these two local icons of Victorian engineering in North Somerset have both been awarded grants in order that visitors will be able to enjoy and more fully appreciate the pier and the bridge in their surroundings.”

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Trustees of the pier have also submitted a bid for a substantial amount of funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and are waiting to hear whether it has been successful.

If this money is rewarded, it is hoped workmen could be on site by the autumn of 2013 with a view to opening the new facilities in summer 2014.

In the meantime, a lot of background work will have to be carried out including completing detailed drawings and appointing a contractor.

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