Like the ruin itself all hope of restoring the West Pier is sinking fast. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) board has decided the scheme carries too many financial risks and that it will release no more Lottery funding.
The Trust had been hoping for between £12.6m and £19m. Match funding was needed from private sector partners to complete the work.
Council leader Ken Bodfish said, “It’s incredibly disappointing news. Short of a miracle this looks like the end of the pier. If so it’s a sad day for the city and the people who have dedicated much of their lives to getting the pier restored.
“As the council has always said, this was the last chance. Despite various claims, no financially viable alternative has ever been suggested.
“It seems to us that it is now inconceivable another developer could get involved, spend several years on a new plan, make a new grant application and secure funding.
“The original Lottery grant is no longer available to any other bidders. It has gone and is not transferable to other schemes – for the pier or any other building.
“We’ll now be talking urgently to all involved to establish what happens next.
“It looks likely we will be investigating how the wreckage is cleared and who pays for it, as well as how we now regenerate that part of the seafront – and how that is funded.”
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