Pier funding bids in

TRUSTEES heading up the project to create new visitor facilities at Clevedon Pier will soon learn whether bids for about �1.5million in funding have been successful.

The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust has submitted second round bids to both the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Coastal Communities Fund after both first round submissions were successful and they were invited back to give more detail.

The trust is due to hear in either November or December whether each has been successful.

If enough money can be collected, the project will include creating a glass structure at the land-end of the Grade I-listed pier to feature a tearoom, shop, function room and exhibition space.

The existing tollhouse will also be refurbished, along with the sea-end pergoda, and changes will be made to the Heritage Centre along the road so it can be used as offices for operating the pier as well as an art gallery.

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The overall cost of the project is expected to reach about �1.8million and this will also include employing two new staff members to encourage and educate the community to make the most of the pier.

At a meeting on October 3, Clevedon Town Council also voted to allocate �15,000 of funding in both its 2013/14 and 2014/15 budgets toward the project, subject to the trustees securing all of the money needed for the scheme.

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While some members were against using public money toward the project, they voted with a majority of 15 to 4 to go ahead with the commitment.

Pier trustee chairman Simon Talbot-Ponsonby said: “Local support is really important. The fact the council has agreed this is really positive.

“We are pretty optimistic about the two bids.

“We can’t be certain but I think we have done everything we should have.

“If we get these two, then we will have a real push to get the last little bit.”

Earlier this year, the pier launched a public appeal to help raise funds toward the scheme. Anyone still interested in donating towards this can find out more online by visiting www.clevedonpier.com

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