Cleethorpes Pier bought by businessman for 'community use'

Cleethorpes pier
Image caption Cleethorpes Pier opened in 1873

Cleethorpes Pier has been bought by a local businessman who intends to turn it into a community-run venue.

The 335ft (100m) Victorian structure, which closed last year, is one of the UK's shortest piers.

Bryan Huxford, who co-owns Humberside Airport, said he would soon reopen the pier as a traditional entertainment venue.

The pier sold at auction in March but was put back on the market in May after the sale fell through.

Mr Huxford, who bought the pier for an undisclosed fee, said the venue would be "safeguarded for future community ownership".

"This has the potential to be very exciting and could create jobs, boost skills and give people across North East Lincolnshire a venue to really be proud of," he said.

"But we're not getting ahead of ourselves at this stage because we know the pier will only truly survive and thrive with the support of local people."

Crafts, conferences, weddings

A public consultation is expected to start next week to gauge interest in the project and decide on the pier's future use.

Mr Huxford said the pier would have a number of uses including tearooms, craft market, wedding receptions, conferences and a traditional dance and concert hall.

A steering group of seven business people has been set up to manage the pier while it recruits members of the public to create a community organisation.

Mr Huxford said the organisation would takeover the running of the pier "with the ultimate aim of buying the building."

Cleethorpes Pier, which was built at a cost of £8,000 and opened in 1873, has been empty since it closed last year and was previously used as a nightclub.

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