North Somerset Council and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust thank Alistair Verbruggen from Sunbelt Rentals who arranged the loan of the temporary building.
The plan is to fit the building out as an information centre by the late May bank holiday weekend where it will provide information on the history of the pier and the latest regeneration and renovation updates for the local community and visitors alike.
Operated by volunteers from the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, this information centre is part of the council’s commitment in providing the public information about the Birnbeck Pier project and its renovation progress to date.
The centre is an interim measure until the Birnbeck Pier buildings can be fully restored.
Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset councillor for Weston-super-Mare Hillside said: “Birnbeck Pier is an historic treasure and a jewel for Weston-super-Mare where many locally, nationally and internationally are watching its renovation plans and progress with interest. For its many visitors, I’m pleased we'll soon have a place where they can come, see the progress for themselves and talk to volunteers from the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust about the next steps.”
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, also North Somerset councillor for Weston-super-Mare Hillside and North Somerset Council’s Heritage Champion said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible and the volunteers who will be staffing the information centre. Birnbeck Pier rightfully generates a lot of interest and I’m glad there will soon be an information point available for everyone to find out more about its past and future.”
Richard Griffin, from the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, said: “It is great to see a physical presence back at the pier. The Trust has always kept public awareness at the forefront of its mission to see Birnbeck Pier saved from neglect. Working with volunteers and companies like Sunbelt Rentals continues to drive the vision of a community-driven project. The Trust are working closely with North Somerset Council developing the detailed plan for the restored pier and buildings and look forward to the Compulsory Purchase Order process to be completed when work can start on site in earnest.”
The pier was closed to the public in 1994 and placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register in 1999.
Last November, Birnbeck Pier was awarded a £234,761 development grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the repair and regeneration of the grade II listed pier. This was on top of £3.55million awarded from the National Heritage Memorial Fund from the Cultural Assets Fund (CAF) last October to help save the ‘legs’ of the Pier and reinstate access to the island. In addition, there is £4.47m within the Levelling Up Fund allocated to Weston-super-Mare towards the rebuilding and reuse of buildings and structures on the pier site.
Multiple partners are working together to save the pier from collapsing into the sea, including North Somerset Council, RNLI, Historic England, Birnbeck Regeneration Trust and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Anyone wanting to get involved with volunteering with The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust or the Friends of the Old Pier at the new information point should email: Volunteer@birnbeckregenerationtrust.org.uk