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Swanage pier set to get nearly £894,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding

image copyrightSwanage pier trust
image captionA storm in March 2013 had left the mid-section of the pier, which is more than 150 years old, close to collapse

A grade II-listed pier in Dorset is set to get nearly £894,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding to help restore it to its "Victorian splendour".

Strong winds and rough seas in March 2013 left the mid-section of Swanage pier close to collapse.

Following £60,000 of repairs it was able to open after a few months, but trustees said they need £1.7m for a complete revamp and a visitor centre.

Pier chief executive Ben Adeney said the fund was "excellent news".

'Securing its future'

The Heritage Lottery Fund of £893,800 will go towards replacing parts of the pier which are "in a critical condition and at risk of collapse".

Plans for a visitor centre include an exhibition about the town's heritage, marine environment and world heritage coastline.

Swanage Pier Trust also wants to develop educational activities, including an outdoor classroom.

Mr Adeney said: "We are very pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this important project.

"The first pile was driven on the existing Swanage Pier in 1895, making this the 120th anniversary.

"So what better time could there be to mark this important milestone in the pier's history with a big step towards securing its future."

Nerys Watts, head of Heritage Lottery Fund in the South West, said: "We are delighted to be able to support the Swanage Pier Trust... in their work to repair the pier, ensuring that it can be preserved for and enjoyed by future generations."

The funding is subject to second round approval, but the money has been earmarked for the pier and will only be refused if conditions agreed in the first round are no longer met.

About 125,000 people visit the pier each year.

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