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Brighton's Palace Pier should be sold to the community, research claims
6:34pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
Brighton should follow Hastings’ lead when it comes to pier ownership, new research has claimed.
Jess Steele, the author of the People's Piers report published today by the trade association Co-operatives, argued “neglected” piers should be bought by the community.
As an example, she cited Hastings Pier, which has been returned to local ownership ahead of a £14 million project to revive the battered Victorian structure.
Ms Steele said: "Seaside piers make us smile. But too many piers are trapped in a cycle of neglectful ownership with only periodic attempts at conservation.
"We believe that there is a new option, now being pioneered for Hastings Pier, which is to take piers into local community ownership."
Up to 95% of Hastings’ pier was left a burnt-out eyesore when it was almost destroyed in an arson attack three years ago following years of neglect.
Most of the money for the refurbishment has been raised by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with help from the Coastal Communities Fund, the Community Assets Fund, Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.
Work will start this month on the Grade II-listed pier and will be completed by spring 2015, turning it into the "People's Pier", officials said.
In Brighton, the Palace Pier was been taken off the market in October 12 after 16 fruitless months for sale, with no potential bidders since it was first marketed in June 2011.
There have also been failed efforts to bring the fire-ravaged West Pier back into use since it was destroyed by a blaze back in 2003.
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