A conservation group is looking for new ideas to rescue Brighton and Hove’s ruined West Pier.

The West Pier Trust is drawing up a brief for designers to submit fresh plans to save the structure on Brighton’s sea front.

At the trust’s annual general meeting, chairman Glynn Jones said a successful plan must complement the proposed i360 observation tower – which “will happen and will be wonderful”.

Mr Jones said the brief for designers will be published in the New Year.

London-based developer Marks Barfield was ready to start constructing the i360 on land near Brighton’s West Pier last year.

But weeks before contractors were due to move onto the seafront site, £20 million of private funding was withdrawn.

Brighton and Hove City Council has offered a £15 million loan to kick-start the £38 million attraction and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise partnership has promised £3 million.

Mr Jones told the meeting at the Hilton Brighton Metropole in Kings Road the trust’s income from commercial activities has plunged year-on-year by £39,591 to £43, 896 and it made a yearly deficit of £23,110.

Its funds fell from £114, 470 to £91,360.

Mr Jones said: “The trust’s first priority is to see the i360 up and running. There’s no other show in town.

“Now is not the time to quit. The i360 will happen and it will be wonderful.”

David Marks, boss at Marks Barfield in London, said: “We are confident of the support of the council, the trust and the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership.

“The Governor of the Bank of England has said the UK recovery has taken hold. This is not the time to lose your nerve.”

But trust member Ray Hole, who lives in Arundel and runs an architect practice in Croydon, said he was not confident the trust can deliver the i360.

He said: “I have every confidence in David and Julia Marks to build a great observation tower. But great projects need great clients and I don’t think this project has one.”