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Hastings Pier share scheme close to target as deadline looms
6:00am Friday 4th April 2014 in News
More than £470,000 in shares in a fire-ravaged seaside pier have been sold so far to help fund its long-awaited restoration.
Organisers behind the revival of Hastings Pier hope to hit their £500,000 target before the share-buying deadline ends tomorrow.
Work started in earnest in January to restore the Grade II-listed Victorian pier in an ambitious project costing more than £13 million.
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That money is being used to fund the engineering, steelwork and major renovation needed to bring the structure back to life.
The share scheme was offered to pay for attractions needed to make it financially viable, with more than 1,900 mainly local shareholders investing so far.
Plans include funfairs, a circus, an open-air cinema and theatre, farmers’ markets and a mirrored heritage centre to reflect the seaside views.
The centre will house memories from residents and will feature recorded recollections, pictures and memorabilia of the old pier.
There are also “tentative” plans for a microbrewery on the pier, and a bar and restaurant under the guidance of eco-restaurateur Jamie Grainger-Smith.
The pier has stood as an eyesore since it was wrecked by a fire in October 2010 following years of neglect.
Two men, then aged 18 and 19, were arrested shortly afterwards but the Crown Prosecution Service later said there was not enough evidence to bring charges.
The lack of effort by then Panama-registered owner Ravenclaw led Hastings Borough Council to seek a compulsory purchase order.
It is hoped the pier will be finished by summer 2015.
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