Shotley Pier revamp finally underway after lockdown halted plans
- Credit: Archant
The first steps to restore historic Shotley Pier to its former glory are underway following a three-year fundraising campaign.
Contractors were hoping to begin work on a revamp of the Victoria pier back in March, but the coronavirus lockdown forced plans on the project to be halted.
But as the government has recently relaxed several restrictions of the lockdown, the regeneration project can finally begin.
The 158m-long pier has a storied past, having been first constructed in 1894 and previously used to ferry mail, coal, munitions and sailors across the River Stour.
Volunteers behind the revamp project have been working behind the scenes to restore the landmark in the hope of attracting visitors to the Shotley Peninsula.
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Their hopes were boosted last September at the news that the project would receive £144,864 windfall from the EU’s European Agricultural Fund.
The government’s Coastal Revival Fund had contributed a £50,000 sum to the scheme several months prior.
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The regeneration of the pier will be carried out in stages - with only the first 50m being restored to begin with.
Amicus Civil Engineering have been appointed as contractors for the revamp and Ashwells Tropical Timbers will supply materials.
Work on the first stage of the project is expected to last eight weeks.
A spokesman for the Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society said: “We have gathered momentum through our fantastic volunteers and supporters who have encouraged us along the way.
“We have been lucky to get support from many funders to get to this point, with these renovations paid for by kind grants from the EU and the Coastal Revival Fund.
“They will enable the public to walk part way along the pier to gain better views of the captivating River Stour and the fascinating world-renowned ports of Harwich and Felixstowe.”
Dave Gibson, managing director of Amicus Civil Engineering, added: “We are very proud to be involved in the first phase of renovations to the historic Shotley Pier.
“Having worked on Ha’Penny Pier for the past few years, just across the water from Shotley, it is especially pleasing to be continuing the preservation of other important local landmarks.
“We are looking forward to being part of the team and seeing the pier open to the public in due course.”