Investors can take a punt on new Hastings Pier

Shares are to be offered in a Victorian pier as part of efforts to revive it three years after it was almost destroyed in a devastating fire

A computer-generated image of how the new pier may look
A computer-generated image of how the new pier may look

Shares are to be offered in a Victorian pier as part of efforts to revive it three years after it was almost destroyed in a devastating fire.

Investors will become shareholder owners of Hastings Pier in East Sussex under a community ownership scheme described as a first for a structure of this kind.

More than £13m has been secured mainly through the Heritage Lottery Fund for renovations, and work started in August with the aim of completing by spring 2015.

It is hoped a further £500,000 can be raised by selling to each shareholder a minimum of £100 worth of shares to complete the works and add attractions including a microbrewery and a playground.

Simon Opie, chief executive of the Hastings Pier Charity, which will oversee the rebuild, said: “If the pier is to survive another 140 years, it will be because it gets used, and that’s where community ownership is vital. Once renovated, we’ll have a spectacular walkway above the sea but that’s all the £13.9m pays for. Long-term financial security will come from people using the pier and for that we need to offer much more than simply a seaside promenade.”

Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council’s regeneration councillor, said: “Inviting local people to have a share in this and the future success of the pier is very welcome indeed.”

The Grade II Listed pier has stood as an eyesore since 2010.

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