‘We own the pier’ - group celebrates major step in £300k Suffolk regeneration project
A deal which is hoped to breathe new life into Suffolk’s only railway pier was agreed today after months of fundraising by the community.
The Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society Ltd has completed the purchase of the historic Shotley Pier - with the group now seeking volunteers and grants to complete its renovation over the next five years.
More than 500 people have invested in the project by buying shares through the Booster Programme funded by Power to Change and Co-operatives UK.
The share scheme, which is intended to support and stimulate public involvement in projects, meant the £62,015 raised since its launch in December 2016 was doubled, allowing the group to buy the pier and cover costs.
The group is now re-launching the community share offer to “Renovate the Pier”.
Vice chairman Sally Chicken said: “The smallest purchase of one share for £25 has ensured that people from all walks of life could become members of the society and become part owners of the pier. The group is now seeking more volunteers and grants to get started on complete renovation of the pier, which is expected to take about five years.”
Once the £300,000 project is completed, the pier is hoped to become a working attraction where people can “stroll, fish, and enjoy the amazing views”.
- 1 Paul Cook sacked by Ipswich Town
- 2 The possible candidates as Ipswich Town search for new boss
- 3 Will it be another lockdown Christmas?
- 4 Ipswich Town set to announce caretaker manager
- 5 Harsh or fair? Here's what Town fans are saying about Paul Cook sacking
- 6 Stuart Watson's verdict: Cook sacking shows Town owners mean business
- 7 Matchday Recap: A replay awaits as Town fail to beat Barrow
- 8 'Gutted to see the gaffer go' - Norwood on Cook sacking
- 9 Body found in woods near Mildenhall
- 10 'We're probably not as good as we think we are' - Cook on FA Cup draw with Barrow
Built in 1894 by the Marquis of Bristol, the pier was first used to carry mail and later munitions for the Royal Navy.
Along with the Bristol Arms pub and HMS Ganges, it featured in Arthur Ransome’s children’s book We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea The 600ft pier also operated a foot ferry and has been used by fishermen, barge owners and local people to go across the bay.
However it fell into disrepair at the turn of the last century, prompting the community to step up efforts for its restoration.
The group thanked Babergh District Council for paying for a survey and awarding a £20,000 economic development grant.
The purchase was delayed due to a complication, which required a separate purchase of the “hammerhead” section from the Crown Estate. Mrs Chicken said this was made possible due to the group’s “charitable” status, which was approved last month. It also means the group is exempt from VAT on many purchases.
Mrs Chicken said the group was “delighted” to qualify.
Email Shotely Pier for information about how to get involved.