Southsea South Parade Pier community group awarded £10,000

South Parade Pier The owners of the pier said repair work was being organised

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A community group hoping to take over a Victorian seaside pier has been given nearly £10,000 in government cash.

South Parade Pier in Portsmouth has been closed since 2012 and is in a state of disrepair.

Owners Dawn Randall and Fred Nash say they have sold the structure, but are yet to reveal the buyer's identity.

The South Parade Trust welcomed the £10,000 grant, but admitted millions of pounds would be needed to restore the pier to its former glory.

The money will be used to gain professional fundraising expertise, increase supporter numbers and fund specialist training in community asset projects.

'Pigeon-infested'

The award has been made by the Department of Communities and Local Government under its Community Ownership and Management of Assets fund.

Leon Reis, chairman of South Parade Trust, said: "Short of a profligate fairy godmother pouring her chest of gold into this pigeon-infested black hole, nobody else is going to buy the pier and certainly nobody else with the money will share our community commitments."

Earlier this week it was revealed the current owners of the pier are to be issued with a summons regarding work to make the structure safe.

The case is listed at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court for 31 March.

Ms Randall has insisted the "work is being organised now".

She has previously said she does not want to sell to the trust "because they never had the money".

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