DONATIONS have started coming in for Swanage Pier Trust's urgent £50,000 appeal, launched after part of the Victorian structure was seriously damaged during gale force storms.

Swanage Pier remains partially closed with access limited to the first dogleg.

General manager Ben Adeney said: “We've had donations up to about £250. They've been coming in, at around £10 and £20, from all over the place and they all help greatly.

“I'm also working on a number of applications to organisations to source extra funding.”

The pier management is concerned how the summer season's pleasure boats will be affected.

Mr Adeney explained: “Right now the pier is absolutely open but only up until the first corner. The impact is mainly on the anglers and cruise boat companies.

“The lower landing stages are underneath the pier head, so the potential for loss is huge. “ In 2010 around 9,000 boating passengers used the pier, injecting thousands of pounds into Swanage's tourist economy.

The Grade II-listed pier was damaged in high tides earlier this month. A pile was torn off and there was a real fear the mid-section walkway was in imminent danger of collapse.

Volunteers were able to brace the affected are in a bid to avert further damage.

Coincidentally, renovation work is being carried out on another section of the pier.