Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Ramsey's Queen's Pier unlocked for first time in 25 years

Ramsey pier
Image caption It is estimated the overall restoration project could cost around £1.5m

The gates of a 130-year-old Victorian pier in the Isle of Man have been officially unlocked for the first time in 25 years.

Campaigners who want to restore the pier to its former glory said it is a "day we never thought would happen" following the short ceremony in Ramsey.

The government handed over the keys to the Queen's Pier Restoration Trust (QPRT) who want to save the landmark.

It is estimated the overall restoration of the pier could cost around £1.5m.

The pier was closed in 1990 due to concerns about its safety.

Despite being unlocked for the day, the pier will remain out of bounds to the public.

Image copyright Manx National Heritage

'As important as Laxey Wheel'

The 0.7 km (0.43 mi)-long structure was built for the Isle of Man Harbour Board for around £45,000 and opened in 1886.

A QPRT spokesman said the next stage of their campaign will see a survey undertaken before a £60,000 project gets underway to restore the first of 55 bays.

Tom Durrant from the Trust said: "Each of the subsequent bays could cost £25,000 each."

In 2011, Tynwald approved £1.7m to stabilise and protect the Queen's Pier on the north coast of the island.

Thousands of tonnes of steel reinforcement were used to secure the structure and stop potentially hazardous debris falling into the sea.

Mr Durrant from the Trust said campaigners said the pier is "as important to the Isle of Man as the Laxey Wheel".

Image copyright Queen's Pier
Image caption The original drawings were produced in 1883

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