Last-minute push to gain support for a share of government cash
An architect has appealed for public support to help bring his vision for Herne Bay’s pier to life. Tim Sanderson is calling on people to sign a petition to the government calling for funds to be spent on the seafront landmark. The petition on the 10 Downing Street website closes on Monday, and has already attracted 1,200 signatures. Mr Sanderson said:
“We enjoyed huge success with the People’s Millions lottery funding for the new canopy over the performance area. So it would be great to make another splash with this petition. The pier is an important public landmark and community hub. But its successful regeneration relies on creating fun and sympathetic architecture, coupled with flexible public space for the needs of the community.”
The petition was set up after the Eastbourne Pier fire last summer, when the government announced more funding to help coastal communities. Pier Trust volunteers hoped to capture public attention and press for some of the money allocated to come to Herne Bay. Then at the end of February the government announced up to £3 million could be spent on helping bring piers, lidos and promenades beck up to scratch. The National Piers Society included Herne Bay as one of four places that could benefit from the new fund, along with Bognor Regis, Weston-super-Mare, and Swanage. Trust chairman Doreen Stone said:
“The society was kind enough to mention us to the government which is brilliant. To appear in the government plans is really something for us. We’re very pleased with the petition online. At first it grew and grew, but it has ground to a halt now somewhat. So we’re hoping more people will sign it before Monday. I put it on the 10 Downing Street website in order for us to get noticed and raise awareness. It lets the government know that Herne Bay wants its pier back.”
Mrs Stone said the trust is still working with Mr Sanderson over plans for the long-term future of the pier, but it will depend on funding. There is also research being done into the possibility of creating a mile-long walkway with tidal turbines to generate electricity, being investigated by Andy Harvey. Mrs Stone added that the EU target for 33% renewable energy means coastal electricity schemes could be looked at more seriously in the coming years. To add your name to the petition visit www.ilovehernebay.co.uk and click the link at the top of the page.
Herne Bay Gazette, March 26th 2015