Shotley Pier fundraising appeal nears target of £100k as deadline looms

Shotley Pier is nearer to being saved after a fundraising appeal has proved successful. Picture: MIC

Shotley Pier is nearer to being saved after a fundraising appeal has proved successful. Picture: MICK WEBB iWitness - Credit: Mick Webb

Supporters of Shotley Pier have nearly reached their £100k target as the end of August deadline for their efforts approaches.

People in Suffolk are being given the chance to buy shares in Shotley Pier

People in Suffolk are being given the chance to buy shares in Shotley Pier - Credit: Archant

They have now guaranteed £95,000 of the money needed through a share issue and matched funding – and are confident of reaching their target by the end of the month.

Volunteers are stepping up efforts to reach as many people as possible to reach their goal in order to buy the pier

The community shares went on sale on June 1 with a minimum investment of £25 for one share – the maximum holding allowed by any one investor is £10,000.

Payments of £47,500 have been received by the Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society from more than 270 people, with a £1 for £1 match-funding of up to a total of £65,000 offered by the Power To Change Booster Programme.

Supporters of the bid for Shotley Pier campaign. From left: Sally Chicken, chairman of Shotley Herit

Supporters of the bid for Shotley Pier campaign. From left: Sally Chicken, chairman of Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society, Ltd, Gary Richen, James Cartlidge MP, and Derek Davis, Babergh councillor. Picture: Ruth Leach

These match shares will be held by Co-operatives UK. Together, the amount raised by the community plus the booster fund comes to £95,000.

John Davitt, Chairman of the Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society, said “People who invest should do so for community reasons, this is not primarily a financial investment, as there will be no dividends.

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“We welcome small purchases from £25 to ensure that everyone can take part in this unique community business. We are delighted that many people are choosing to invest larger amounts to help us reach our target of £100,000 by the end of August.”

Babergh council played a vital role by paying for a detailed survey, and then offered a £20,000 economic development grant to the newly formed community benefit society.

Local councillor Derek Davis said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for the community and other backers from further afield, to take ownership of this Victorian pier, which is steeped in history.”

The group plans to bring the pier back to be used by fishermen, sightseers, birdwatchers and for small yachts to berth alongside, and for people who just want to enjoy a gentle stroll down a uniquely British pier.

Babergh cabinet member Margaret Maybury said: “We are proud to be able to support the community buying and renovating Shotley Pier.

“This is a great example of what a community can achieve by working hard for a common cause and engaging with people.”

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