News emerging this week has spoken volumes about the wonderful community spirit of Colwyn Bay and how they refuse to allow the famous pier to be demolished without a fight.
Late 2013 saw the largely unwelcome decision to destroy the coastal landmark made by Conwy County Council, even in the face of stiff opposition by locals and campaigners. The result brought an end to a fraught five years of consternation for the future of the Colwyn Bay Pier.
Even in the face of proposed funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund at an estimate of £595,000, the cost of renovation would still stand at £4,500,000 which left the council with few alternatives but to make the controversial decision.
However, the group behind the initial campaign to save the pier are making one final and plucky push to preserve its future.
Shore Thing are drawing up plans for a lottery bid in the hopes that it will assist towards the large cost of renovation for Victoria Pier, meaning that the looming threat of demolition will be more expensive than the cost of renovation is in the event that further funding is granted.
Chairman of Shore Thing Gavin Davies said: “It’s disappointing that the council declined the money (referring to the first funds made available by HLF), but this leaves us open to place another bid with heritage lottery, on our own terms, without the council.
“It gives us more freedom and control over the project and it leaves scope to build on the case we’ve already got and possibly acquire the pier ourselves.”
Cllr Brian Cossey echoed the positive belief from Shore Thing when he stated: “I was disappointed with the vote to demolish the pier – I feel Shore Thing didn’t have enough time to build up their case.
“If they can come up with a viable business plan for the pier now then I’m all for it.”
Should these ambitious plans fall into place, the now admittedly almost derelict pier would be transformed into a haven for the arts, entertainment and community centre for Colwyn Bay locals but this all hinges on the proposal being accepted. Chair of HLF Wales Manon Williams said: “The project is integral to the regeneration of Colwyn Bay, has strong support from the community with significant opportunities for job creation, training and volunteering and would provide a significant boost for the local economy.”
The future of this historic aspect of Colwyn Bay is still up in the air and as the rights for ownership are currently being contested in court, it could be a long fight until an absolute finality is declared.
Keep up to date with this news story as it develops on northwales.com.
“Colwyn Bay Pier” by www.flickr.com/photos/oldeyankee & “Colwyn Bay Pier, NWales” by www.flickr.com/photos/ericthefishking