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Pier Trust Chair criticises Pier Trust Rebuild Group

This email went to HB Pier Trust members on 29th Jan:

Yours Views are Urgently Sort

Dear Member

This email is crucial to the future direction of the Herne Bay
Pier Trust. I earnestly ask you to respond, however briefly. For too
long the feedback to trustees has come from a vocal minority and now we
are seeking the views of the silent majority of members.

You may have seen on the front page of the HB Times
last week the headline “£7.50 a day!” The article outlined the contents
of the Collier Report which the Trust commissioned reluctantly because
we were committed to it by the decisions of previous trustees. However,
the article was right in many points. I feel the time has come for
trustees other than the rebuild group to speak out.
A  project as massive as a long pier needs a considerable period of
discussion and consultation before any decisions are fixed however fast
the rebuild group are pressing forwards a marina project. Since reading
the report carefully, several trustees, including myself, have serious
reservations about the marina being tacked onto the long pier to which
every trustee is committed. The long pier is the reason most of us
joined the Trust and we certainly never envisaged people paying to walk
onto their pier.
As a charitable Trust, we have a duty to act responsibly – first in the
interest of the members, yourselves, and secondly in the interests of
Herne Bay. The majority of trustees do not believe pursuing a marina
pier is in those best interests. A Herne Bay Marina somewhere else would
be brilliant we would fully support a group set up for this purpose.
We have appended belowere, undoctored, a summary of the
facts and figures, which appear in the Collier Report to support the
marina pier, for you to read and judge for yourselves.

Our reservations are as follows:

  1. The
    idea that 175,000 visitors will pay £7.50 and 30,000 residents paying
    £30 annually to walk on their own pier is unrealistic and it goes
    completely against the concept of a pier for the residents of Herne Bay.
     The profit from those projected entry fees, even after concessions,
    amount  to £3.8million  –  three times the profits projected for the
    marina (£1.1million) . I always imagined we would build  a free People’s
    Pier where residents can enjoy the sea views, have a coffee, read a
    paper, walk a dog, etc.  The cost proposed would make this the dearest
    pier in UK. (Southend £3.50, Cleveland £1.50) and the projected visitors
    are twice the number for Southend. 
  2. A
    car park at the pier head said to be “critical” to the success of the
    marina”(estimated at 200 cars a day @ £10) would completely change the
    ethos of a promenade type pier. There are no costings in the report for
    the two-lane road which would have to be built up the pier to reach the
    car park. 
  3. The
    potential fire hazard of fuelling ((fuelling profits in the report are
    projected at £45K a year) and 200 cars a mile out to sea is horrendous.
    Piers and fire have a horrible habit of being associated. 
  4. The
    report implies that the long pier is not viable without a marina. This
    cannot be so. We agree the long pier should have something spectacular
    to bring visitors into the town. A sea-centre with viewing tunnels has
    been just one suggestion. The report contains many useful facts about
    other attractions and funding sources we can consider and there are many
    creative people in HB with the imagination to come forward with
    alternative unique selling points for a long pier. We should like to tap
    into their ideas and hold an exhibition and debate in the summer into
    the ideas people like. This should be exciting and fun for all Herne Bay
    to be involved in. 
  5. When
    the Trust’s long pier aspirations were entrusted by the Board to a
    specific  trustee to form a rebuild team but always under the authority
    of the Board. But, since the AGM, the rebuild group which includes
    ex-trustees has become, in my opinion, a pressure group well working
    outside the remit of the Pier Trust Board – publishing articles in
    magazines we do not see, representing the Trust in the press, meeting
    Sir Roger Gale to discuss the marina project without our knowledge,
    commissioning stunning artists’ impressions which have appeared in the
    press and on the web. We need our members to know that the rebuild group
    and its marina project website, no longer reflect the views of the
    Herne Bay Pier Trust Board.
  6. In
    February 2012, the Board voted to support a gradual rebuild approach to
    the long pier – first establishing the short pier as a vibrant place
    and then finding funding to build on promenade and second platform and
    so on, each stage supporting the funding of the next.  Ideas for
    attractions such a sea-world centre with viewing bays, retro rides,
    restaurants, cafes, retail outlets for quality goods, entertainment
    platforms and function areas for weddings and performance were put

mandate is now vital to us as a Board.  Please take a little time to
read through the attached set of facts and figures supporting the marina
project. Then could you please email us back your views by the 28th
February 2013.  

1. Do you wish us to develop in stages a free pier without a
marina on the end – with attractions chosen in consultation with the
members and the people of HB?

2. Do you give the Board (with me in the chair) your mandate to take firm control of  the Trust’s rebuild group?

Doreen Stone

Summary of facts and figures in the Collier Report 
The project has two key concepts :
Marina and Visitor attractions
with two hubs: The Pier Piazza and the Sea Pavilion
The estimated annual income comes from 3 sources: Marina, Visitors and Rents
Costs of project :

  1. Collier figures based on the Gifford Report

                                                                         Infrastructure   : £32.0m
                                                                         Marina             : £2.9m
                                                                         Project fees     : £3.2m
                                                                         Additional        : £1.0m
                                                                 Total for structure : £40.1million
This does not include a 2 lane vehicle access to parking for 200 cars at
the marina – regarded as “critical” to the success of the marina by the
This does not include boat lifting for winter – also regarded as essential
2. Additional Costs from Collier                        Hotels             : £4.3
                                                                         Aquarium        : £3.8
                                                                         Restaurants    : £1.8
                                                                         Cinema           : £3.1 
                                                              Total for Pier Piazza: £13.3million
                                                                           Hotel/spa       : £6.3m
                                                                           Casino           : £1.3m
                                                                           Marina           : £0.4
                                                                           Boutiques      : £1.3
                                                       Total for Sea Pavilion      : £9.2 million
                                                                           Kiosks            :  £0.1m
                                                                           Water sports  : £0.4m
                                                                           Boat tours      : £0
                                                                           Cycle hire       : £0
                                                                           Play park        :  £0.3m
                                                                           Ticket offices  : £0.2.m
                                                                           Function pav  : £1.0m
                                                                           Other              : £1.0m
                                                 Total for Rented property      : £3.0million
Therefore total estimated costs = £66 million plus cost of 2-lane road, marina car park and boat lifting facility for winter. 
Annual Profits
3 sources profits : Marina, Visitors and Rents

  1. Marina

i) Annual berths
Projected annual charge : £300 per metre per boat (based on average 10
metre boat) cp Ramsgate £205, Gillingham £149 and Swale £148
275 annual berths at estimated likely 80% occupancy = 220 boats @ £3000 = £660,000                                       Total in Report : £528,000
ii) Visitors berths

estimated as 86 per day x 175 days  @ £15 per day
                                                                   Total in Report : £375, 000 

iii) Commercial berths                                Total income : £23,000
iv) Fuel sales                                                Total income :£ 45,000 

v) Landing charges
 estimated 99,000 annually @£2.0 ea                        Total :£ 165,000
                                                Total income from marina £ 1.1million
                                                                                         (to investors?)
2. Visitor Profits
i)Admission charges
Estimated 750,000 annual visitors @ £7.50 per adult Total : £4.5million
And  30,000 @ £30 annually                                       Total :  £0.8million
                                                     Total after concessions    : £3.8 million
ii) Other visitor profits
150 Functions @£2,500                                                   £0.4m
274 in playpark per day @ £5                                          £0.5m
Festival                                                                             £0.4m
Parking on marina – 200 per day @£10                           £0.6m
Fishing – 25 a day @£5                                                    £38,000
                                                                                        Total :  £2million
                                                         Total profits from visitors : £ 5.8million 

3. Annual Profits from Rentals

2 restaurants                                                   £4.3m
2 cinemas                                                       £16,250
1 casino                                                          £200,000
1 marina clubhouse                                        £60,000
10 boutiques                                                   £150,000
Kiosks                                                             £45,000
Watersports centre                                         £30,000
Boat ticket sales                                             £10,000
Based on annual estimated turnover of:
120 budget rooms @£75 @68% occupancy = 81 rooms per night = £6075 per night          
70 rooms @£200 @ 62% occupancy = 43 rooms per night = £8600 per night
                                                       Total Rental profit : £810,000
Based on 200,000 visitors annually @£14 with concessions =annual turnover£1.6million 
                                                       Total Rent @ 12% = £196,000
Cycles – (100 day = £233,000 @rent 15% = profit in rental)
                                                           Total rent            £ 35,000
3 Adrenaline attractions 
(7,300 per year @£8 = £46,000)    Total rental @ 20% = £ 9,000
Gross profits summary


  1. marina            £1.1million
  2. rents               £2.1million
  3. visitors            £5.6million

                                                                   Total £8.8 million

Annual Salaries £800,000
Overheads £250,000
Depreciations £130,000                    
                                                                 Total £1.1 million

                                  Total profits after costs £7.7million                        
Staffing and employment opportunities (estimates)

Piazza: 72 :   Sea Pavilion 76;    Marina 29;    Other 34;   Festival time 3

                                              Total : 214 full/ pt time

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