SWANAGE Pier is at risk of collapse with 41 of its timber piles in a critical condition', the latest survey has revealed.

Now Swanage Pier Trust is launching a £900,000 appeal to help bankroll the regeneration of the historic Grade II structure.

Deputy Swanage Mayor Mike Bonfield is set to attend Friday's 'Save Swanage Pier' launch, which will coincide with the draw for the winning 10,000th brass plaque.

A raffle has taken place all summer, with the winner getting the opportunity to select their dedication for a brass plaque which will remain in place on the walkway of the Victorian pier for the rest of its lifetime.

Swanage Pier has already been allocated provisional funds of more than £800,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

However, in order to secure the National Lottery cash Swanage Pier Trust needs to raise an additional £900,000 by August next year.

Swanage Pier suffered serious storm damage in March 2013, when a structural pile was swept out to sea in high tides and gale force winds.

That damage, which almost caused the pier's walkway to collapse, left the structure partially closed for months.

Now Swanage Pier Trust explains: "When the trust took over management in 1984, the pier had been left to deteriorate for over 30 years, so they inherited a structure requiring significant maintenance and restoration.

"The trust has undertaken repairs over the year, however, a survey has revealed that 41 of the pier's timber piles are in a critical condition, putting the structure at risk of collapse."

Swanage Pier Trust chief executive Ben Adeney said: "As part of the regeneration project, improvements will be made to the pier facilities.

"Events and educational programmers will be introduced and opening times extended."