General News

Hastings Pier – set to reopen Summer 2015

Besi Besemar December 27, 2014

Once Hastings, the ancient Cinque Port was one of the country’s most important resorts, and its 910ft‑long pier – thought to be the first of the 99 in Britain that were built for entertainment, rather than as landing stages – was at the heart of its fortunes.

Hastings Pier

DESCRIBED AS “a peerless pier” at its 1872 opening, it took 56,000 people through its turnstiles in just one August week in 1931. In the Sixties, the ballroom at its seaward end hosted concerts by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Cilla Black and the Rolling Stones.

Over the years is was repeatedly damaged by storms and flames, and was finally closed for safety reasons in 2008.

In 2010, it experienced worse fire devastation than Eastbourne’s pier did in 2014. Hastings Borough Council then bought it and, with the help of £11.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is turning it into what has been hailed “as the coolest-looking pier in the world”.

By the time it opens in summer 2015, 42 miles of hardwood decking will have been laid, held down by 400,000 screws.

Once back in service, it will host a restaurant, circuses, plays, concerts, film festivals, farmers’ markets, urban sports and more. It is expected to attract 325,000 visitors in the first year and contribute £1.2 million to the local economy.

For more information about the Hastings Pier Charity, click here: