Clevedon Pier visitor centre gets £500,000 cash boost
By Prue_Reid | Friday, February 15, 2013, 15:00
A PROJECT to build a new visitor centre at Clevedon Pier has received a cash boost of £500,000.
The cash has come from the Coastal Communities Fund and, together with the £720,000 already allocated to the project by the Heritage Lottery Fund, means that two thirds of the £1.9 million needed for the new visitor and education centre is in place.
Currently there are no visitor facilities on the pier and the new two storey building, which will be built into the rockface beneath the ramp to the pier, will house a tea room, new toilets, multi function room and exhibition space.
There will also be a lift and a viewing platform for people to take in the Clevedon coastline.
Some work will also be carried out to the Toll House to accommodate a shop, pier master's office, interpretation and display area and staff toilets.
It is hoped that work on the new visitor centre will start this year with the project being completed by Easter 2014.
The pier, the only Grade I listed pier in the country open to the public, attracts around 90,000 visitors a year.
It is hoped the new visitor centre will increase the number of visitors to the landmark which in turn will generate extra money for its continued maintenance.
Schools will also be encouraged to explore the structure's engineering and links with Brunel, the part it has played in the social history of Britain and the natural history of the Bristol Channel.
Some of the work will be carried out by Freemantle Developments which is developing the adjacent Royal Pier Hotel into luxury apartments.
The developer is to contribute to the project through the construction of the below ground works on the pier ramp.
Simon Talbot-Ponsonby, chairman of Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust, said: "This is fantastic news.
"It secures our ambition of providing excellent facilities for our visitors while also providing us with the means to become financially self-sufficient when it comes to carrying out all the essential maintenance needed on this beautiful pier.
"With the Heritage Lottery Grant awarded in December, we now have over two-thirds of the funding in place.
"We will make a final push to raise the last remaining funds needed so that we do not lose these grants."