Rescued from physical collapse in 2019, Swanage Pier is now in need of financial support to help keep its head above water during the pandemic.
The pier, part of the town’s unique Victorian history, has been closed for much of 2020 and is again closed in 2021 to the public during the third Covid lockdown.
Not only has Swanage Pier been a victim of coronavirus restrictions but it also suffered vandalism during the first lockdown in June 2020 and then in October 2020, the pier suffered a battering from Storm Alex. The heavy rain and high winds brought large waves crashing over the lower deck of the pier causing some damage to the lower landing stage.
Loss of £40,000 of vital visitor income
Along with the storm damage, Swanage Pier Trust estimates that the charity has suffered a loss of £40,000 of vital visitor income last year, due to coronavirus. As it’s unknown when the pier can currently reopen the cost of closure for 2021 has not yet been quantified.
During the very uncertain times back in March 2020, the pier closed during the first lockdown to ensure the safety of volunteers, staff and visitors, along with the new museum and café. It was able to eventually reopen on Saturday 4th July 2020.
“We do not know when we will reopen”
Chief executive of Swanage Pier Trust, Ben Adeney said:
“It was great to welcome everyone back during the summer, either to enjoy a return boat trip to Poole, fishing, diving or just a breath of fresh air and great views from the end of the pier. Unfortunately we had to close again in November during the second lockdown.
“However this time, the piermaster and a small team of volunteers were able to carry out general maintenance to the pier and Marine Villas, which included painting the café and museum. Also some of the 44 benches were repainted and the team were able to carry out repair work to the lower deck of the pier.
“Entering another lockdown, with the pier closed for a third time and considering the ongoing situation, we do not know at this point when we will reopen, which makes public support vital to the future of the pier.”
Become a friend of Swanage Pier
The Swanage Pier Trust is urging anyone who wants to support the pier to become a friend of Swanage Pier. It costs £24 a year and offers an annual pass to stroll along the pier, newsletters detailing the latest restoration updates and early notification about future events, when they are able to happen. People can sign up online via the Swanage Pier website
Sponsor a plank
Alternatively, people are still able to sponsor a plank during lockdown. The cost is £150 and to commemorate the sponsorship, the trust lays a brass plaque on the pier with the sponsors personalised message.
Give a donation
There’s also the option of giving a donation to the Swanage Pier rescue fund. This can all be done online on the Swanage Pier website