SWANAGE Pier has been awarded a £500,000 grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The money will help towards bankrolling a major £2.2m renovation project at the historic Grade-II listed structure

Swanage Pier manager Ben Adeney said: “It has been such an amazing day, everyone is jumping up and down.

“It is giving the pier a real sustainable future.”

Improvements to the pier site will include a new visitor’s centre with exhibition and education space, improved disabled access, and a new café and retail areas.

Mr Adeney added: “This is as a result of a team effort, there’s no one person exclusively responsible for it.

“The thing about these kinds of projects is you have to involve the wider community, which we have done.

Work on the pier should start later this year.

The Save Swanage Pier Appeal was launched towards the end of 2015 after it emerged 41 of the Victorian pier’s timber piles were in critical condition and needed replacing.

Announcing a raft of grants to projects across the region, Coastal Communities Minister Andrew Percy said: “We are putting the wind in the sails of over a dozen major projects along the south west coastline.

“From a new watersports centre in Ilfracombe to a new enterprise hub in St Ives, this funding will help make sure seaside towns in the south west flourish.”

A grant was also announced for Portland Quarries Nature Reserve and for the West By Discovery Centre, near Bridport.