Clevedon Pier – facing an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic– has been thrown a cash lifeline.
Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust, which run the landmark, has been awarded a grant of £29,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The money will help towards the pier’s running costs and maintenance programme over the next four months.
(Image: James Beck/Freelance)
The grant comes just days after trust bosses warned the Grade I listed pier would run out of cash by the autumn if the Government lockdown continued.
The money – from the HLF’s Covid 19 Emergency Funding – will be used to cover the pier’s monthly £3,000 insurance costs for four months.
Money will also be used to carry out maintenance work on the landmark.
Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust chairman Phil Curme said: “This money is a real lifeline for us.
“It will help cover some of our operational and essential costs including our insurance.
(Image: James Beck/Freelance)
“It also means we can get on with some much needed day to day maintenance to the pier while we are closed.
“And it means we won’t come to a dead stop with our funding in the autumn.”
The money will be used to deal with a damp problem in the toll house.
It will also go towards getting a full consultants report on long term pier maintenance requirements following the drone survey of the structure carried out last month.
The pier, the only Grade I listed pier in the country, has been closed since the Government restrictions came into force.
All of its staff have been furloughed, events cancelled and the doors closed.
(Image: Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust)
The pier normally generates an income of around £400,000 a year.
Of this £315,000 is spent on its running costs with the remainder of around £85,000 being spent on long term maintenance.
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Around 100,000 people each year flock to the pier with £210,000 being generated in tickets from day visitors.
It receives rent from its on site restaurant Tiffin as well as income from the shop.
Like most tourist attractions, much of the income needed to keep the landmark open and running is generated during the spring and summer months.
Mr Curme said he expected the pier to lose income of around £70,000 due to the lockdown.
If Government guidelines allow, Mr Curme said he hoped the pier could re-open on a restricted basis next month.
A one way system would be put in place and tickets issued from behind a screen in the toll house.
Tickets would also be temporarily discounted as part of the restricted opening.
Volunteers who support the pier have already been asked whether they would assist as stewards to ensure social distancing should the landmark re-open..
Mr Curme added: “We are keen to re-open but this will have to be in line with Government guidelines.
“The pressure is still on though so our appeal for public support is still urgent”
Anyone who wants to find out more or wants to help can visit www.clevedonpier.co.uk.