Group launches campaign to reopen Portishead pier

Portishead Pier.

Portishead Pier. - Credit: Portishead Coastguard

Volunteers are campaigning to reopen and bring Portishead pier back into community use.  

The Portishead Pier Interest Group is more than 150 members strong and formed in January on social media. Members launched the group to build on community knowledge of the history of the pier, as well as work with multiple local councils to bring the facility back into public use. 

In March, members had a Zoom meeting to start initial talks with Bristol City Council (BCC), which owns the pier. 

Portishead Pier

Portishead Pier - Credit: Portishead Coastguard

BCC ‘firmly indicated’ due to its location outside of Bristol, it is ‘unlikely’ the council will ‘ever invest in the pier’. However, the authority is ‘very open’ to discussion with North Somerset Council (NSC) on the transference of the asset, which could lead to NSC, community or other raised investment in the pier. 

Portishead Town Council has shown its support for the group’s plans, and its members’ focus has now shifted to North Somerset Council, to lobby for its transference and campaign for ‘eventual full community use’. 

Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner.

Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner. - Credit: Lily Newton-Browne

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Chairman of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner, said: “This is a very exciting project and a big thank you to the Portishead Pier Interest Group for the great ideas and work done so far.  

“Portishead Town Council looks forward to supporting and working with the group on the next steps.” 

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Portishead Pier Interest Group has created a PowerPoint presentation to outline its initial proposal for onward discussions with Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and Portishead Town Council.  

Members list four options for the future of the pier, which are to do nothing, reopen it to the public with minor enhancements and address all safety hazards. To reopen the pier and restore it back to the original design, or to reopen the asset and reinvent it to a modern design to match new developments in the area. 

Portishead Pier.

Portishead Pier. - Credit: Portishead Coastguard

Option one to do nothing would include safety inspection costs and no design change. Option two of Causeway Pier would cost less than £500,000, minor upgrades and the area would become accessible to the community 99 per cent of the time for ‘many activities’.  

Option three, pier restoration, would cost upwards of £3million, always be accessible to the public and would ‘enhance the pier’ and possibly reintroduce boat trips. Finally, option four to reinvent the pier would cost more than £3million, require ‘significant planning permission’ and would see ‘major construction’ in Portishead.

To see more details on the plans, search for Portishead Pier Interest Group on Facebook.  

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