Talks begin on next phase of pier's revamp

By Gareth Wyn Williams   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Friday 8th January 2021 7:00 pm
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Volunteers celebrate progress on Ramsey Pier's restoration

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Volunteers behind the restoration of Ramsey Pier have begun talks with government over the next phase of the project.

The Queen’s Pier Restoration Trust signed a five-year lease with the Department of Infrastructure in 2017 to refurbish the first three bays of the Victorian landmark.

That phase of the scheme is due to be completed by late spring.

And now the trust hopes to sign a 15-year lease to continue the project, with the second phase to include bays four to eight.

Project manager Stuart McKenzie said: ’We are on schedule to complete this pilot phase by late spring, weather permitting, and have opened discussions for the implementation of the onward lease.

’The lease extension is for an additional 15 years subject to sign off by structural engineers and has no limit on number of bays. ’Of course the government may wish to try to negotiate limits.

’Phase two is bays 4-8 inclusive - five in all and identical. Bay 9 is a different problem as it is one of the wide bays, only 20ft long but 38ft wide.’

All work has now stopped during the three-week lockdown.

He thanked all those who have supported the community project.

The pier closed in 1990 but this year will see a limited opening of the newly restored section.

Mr McKenzie said: ’This has to be discussed with the DoI as we negotiate the lease extension.

’It is unlikely that the pier could be opened all the time because of the ongoing hazardous work on the next phase but it might well be that it could be opened, say, each Sunday provided we can isolate the first phase from the ongoing work safely.’

May 2019 saw the first big lift operation when corroded iron in bay one was swapped for new steel. New steelwork for bays two and three was craned into place in March and August 2020.

There are 60 bays in total and eventually all the ironwork along the length of the 2,160ft pier will have to be replaced. Volunteers estimate each bay will cost about £50,000 to restore.

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