Hastings Pier to be resurrected

Monday 19 November 2012 01:00

Hastings Pier, the seaside attraction that became an unlikely musical mecca in the 1960s by hosting performers from the Rolling Stones to The Who, is to be restored following an £11m Lottery grant.

The 280m-long pier, which was badly damaged by fire in 2010 after suffering years of decay, will have its historic iron super-structure restored and new facilities built as part of a regeneration of the centre of the East Sussex town.

Built in 1872 and designed by celebrated pier engineer Eugenius Birch, the Grade II-listed attraction was a top music venue in the 1960s and 1970s. Performers including Jimi Hendrix and Tom Jones played the pier-end pavilion while Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett played his last ever show with the band there in 1968.

Comedian Jo Brand, who has supported the campaign to restore the pier, said: "Hastings Pier was where I spent a great deal of time as a teenager. It was the gathering point for a whole generation looking to see bands and dance the night away. I was gutted when the pier was gutted and [the restoration] is great news."

The £11.4m grant is one of six new projects to receive grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has invested £5bn since the founding of the National Lottery 18 years ago.

A four-year scheme to promote Anglo-Scottish understanding centred around the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden will receive nearly £900,000 to bring together communities on either side of the Northumbrian and Scottish border. The project, which will take place ahead of Scotland's independence referendum, will focus on the impact in the Borders of the battle, which saw the death of the Scottish king, James IV.

Other projects to receive money include the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, which will get £1.9m for a new visitor centre and reinstatement of a rare grassland, and the £3.6m restoration of a redundant medieval church in Ipswich as a complementary therapy and heritage centre.

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