New owners for derelict pier
By Richard SmithA DERELICT pier, once one of the longest in the country, is to have new owners.Felixstowe pier has been closed – apart from the amusements and fast food outlets by the promenade –since 1998 for safety reasons.
By Richard Smith
A DERELICT pier, once one of the longest in the country, is to have new owners.
Felixstowe pier has been closed – apart from the amusements and fast food outlets by the promenade –since 1998 for safety reasons.
The Felixstowe Pier Trust had planned to raise £15million to rejuvenate the structure.
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It wanted to build a revolving 100-seat restaurant, a major conference centre and casino, a 10-pin bowling alley and a centre with exhibitions and information about the environment.
The trust needed to find £50,000 for a feasibility study to ensure the project was viable, but the project never got off the ground due to a lack of financial support.
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Now the trust has announced it wants to transfer the ownership of the pier back to the previous owners, Pier Amusements Ltd.
Norman Thompson, trust secretary, said: "The reason for this decision is the lack of financial resources and public support for the maintenance and furtherance of the aims of the trust.
"We are transferring the pier back so that we can, I suppose, eventually abandon the trust completely.
"We have had a fair innings trying to get people energised and get money, but the councils were not particularly excited about everything. We were very disappointed at the time."
Mr Thompson said the pier had been condemned for several years and it could be allowed to fall into the sea, although there could be refurbishment and extensions at the landward end.
"The pier is still a problem for Felixstowe. I think a lot of people here think a mega development in the town would have done a lot to regenerate the community," he added.
"We were going to have the biggest revolving restaurant in the world, over the sea at Felixstowe. If we are going to regenerate this part of the country, we have to do something big."
The pier was half-a-mile long when it opened in 1905. Electric tram cars ran from the pier head and steamers alighted at its end to take people to and from other resorts.
During the war the pier was severed to stop Germans landing on its end and then invading the Suffolk coast.
Stan Threadwell, spokesman for Pier Amusements Ltd, was unavailable for comment yesterday about the pier's future.