Swanage pier repairs to start after £60k raised

Swanage Pier
Image caption Major storm damage to the Victorian pier left a mid-section on the verge of collapse

Repairs to a storm-ravaged Grade II-listed pier in Dorset can start after an appeal in March raised £60,000.

Swanage Pier Trust chairman Derek Tarant said he was "overwhelmed" by donations totalling £20,000, including funds raised by local schools.

An additional £39,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) means repairs to the Victorian pier can start on Tuesday.

Strong winds and rough seas on 11 March damaged the mid-section of the pier so badly it was near collapse.

Mr Tarrant said: "'The Pier has received an unprecedented level of support since the appeal began in March and we have been overwhelmed by public generosity."

Work to the mid-section of the pier, built in 1859/1860, will include sending divers down to replace a 14-ft (4.5-metre) long stump in the sea bed.

In addition to the repair work the funds will be used to fund educational exhibitions, trips to schools and training for volunteers to help with the restoration work.

The 642ft (195m) pier was fully restored after falling into disrepair in the 1960s.

After a £1m revamp, it reopened in 1998 and now attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year.

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