The first stage of renovation work has been completed at Shotley Pier with visitors able to sponsor a plank to help the next stage.

East Anglian Daily Times: There's still more work to be done on the pier Picture: TONY LAWFORD-RANDALLThere's still more work to be done on the pier Picture: TONY LAWFORD-RANDALL (Image: Archant)

The first 30 metres (98 feet) of the pier have been completely renovated with temporary railings now installed to allow people to use the pier.

The pier, which is 158m in length, has a storied past, having been first constructed in 1894 and previously used to ferry mail, coal, munitions and sailors across the River Stour.

The pier’s Board hope that it will be able to open the completed section to the public soon but have had to defer a grand opening with ribbon cutting until Spring 2021.

Money for the restoration came from the spend of the Coastal Revival Fund with the help of the final round of the EU Rural Development Fund.

Work is already underway to help start work on the next section of the pier.

The volunteer Board is moving into the next phase of fund raising to instal decking on the next section of renovated pilings.

One way they hope to do this is by offering the public the chance to “sponsor a plank”.

Visitors can pay £100 to have their name added to a plank.

More than 150 have been sponsored so far, which the pier’s board says has been a welcome start to the next stage of fundraising.

MORE: Shotley Pier revamp finally underway after lockdown halted plans