WelcomeThe Friends of the Old Pier Society is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996 to save the magnificent Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare. Designed by legendary pier builder Eugenius Birch and opened in 1867, the pier is unique since it's the only British pier that links the mainland with an island. Sadly, the pier has been closed to the public since 1994 and is included on the 'At Risk' Register compiled by English Heritage. The pier was purchased in 2014 by CNM Estates
Membership is open to everyone – whether you're a Westonian, an exiled Westonian, just have a soft spot for the town, a pier buff or simply someone who cares about the nation's heritage - with discounted rates available for senior citizens and students, and group subscriptions on offer for families and businesses. The society is headed by a committee of nine members, of differing ages, backgrounds and experience... but all with one thing in common – wanting to see Birnbeck Pier restored and reopened. Members receive three professionally-produced magazines per year – featuring the latest developments in the battle to save the pier, as well as happy memories from years gone by - and are invited to attend the society's Annual General Meeting in November.
During the summer (and weekends during the winter), the society's shop 'Pier View' - a former tram signalling station that, as the name suggests, overlooks the pier – is open to visitors, where they can join the society, purchase souvenirs, discuss the pier with the volunteers on duty or simply admire the view while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.
Press Release:"Historic England (HE) kindly invited Birnbeck Regeneration Trust and Friends of the Old Pier Society Project Team to a meeting held on the 2 September 2016 at which they (HE) questioned the Project Team in some detail as to the steps they had taken in the recent past and those that they planned to take in the future with their endeavours to obtain planning permission and funding so that the project may be brought to a successful conclusion. It was agreed at this meeting that the Trust should continue to work with the owners to try bring this project to a successful conclusion."
HISTORIC ENGLAND GRANT TO NORTH SOMERSET COUNCILIt was recently announced in the local media that NSC has been awarded £500k grant from Historic England to help preserve historic buildings in Weston-super-Mare
None of this Grant will be awarded to the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust for two reasons:
Also, who are the owners and are any of the buildings or sites in private ownership?
This turn of events will not distract The Friends of the Old Pier Society and Birnbeck Regeneration Trust in continuing with their efforts to save the Pier and bring the project to a successful conclusion for the residents and visitors to Weston alike.
We are currently in the process of making a case for a Resilient Heritage Award from The Heritage Lottery Fund.
This is a recently new fund and will allow the Trust to do a large majority of the under-pinning work required by this major project to restore the pier.
If the trust is to be successful with this application, we need North Somerset Council to be a fully committed working partner in this bid.
The information required for this bid has been submitted to NSC and we are awaiting their decision so we can jointly progress the grant.
If the team of The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, Friends of the Old Pier Society and North Somerset Council are to be successful with the grant application, which will allow them to secure a full-time team to develop the future of the site by:
With the structures deteriorating daily and with some that are nearing collapse, as was the case of the North Jetty.
We hope we can secure this award and start the journey to saving our valued Grade II* listed structures.
It is now imperative that NSC show that they are fully committed to being part of the team that is endeavoring save the Old Pier for the residents of Weston its visitors and the nation.
In association with: