SWANAGE Pier Trust has been awarded £39,000 from the government's £3m Coastal Revival fund.

The Grade II-listed structure 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.

According to the latest survey Swanage Pier is at risk of collapse with 41 of its timber piles in a 'critical condition'.

Trustees are currently trying to raise £900,000 by August in order to secure a promised £800,000 of Heritage Lottery Fund money.

Meanwhile, Poole council has been granted £42,000 to improve public access to Poole Quay. 

Ageing road and pavement surfaces will be replaced and unnecessary signage, bins and guardrails removed as part of the improvements carried out to public areas on the Quay.

Cllr Ian Potter, Borough of Poole cabinet portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, said: “It’s great that Poole has been awarded this important funding as it is a catalyst to begin improving the appearance of Poole Quay and develop a long-term strategy to manage our coastal heritage assets.”

He continued: “Poole Quay is a popular destination with residents and visitors alike. It is the focus of the town centre’s night-time economy and hosts around 50 local events a year, so it’s important that we invest in this area.

“These initial improvements will benefit our residents, local businesses and tourists who use Poole’s bustling historic quayside.”

Preparations are underway to start the works at Poole Quay early next year, with completion scheduled for the end of March 2016.

The money allocated today is part of the Government’s drive to improve the coastal areas of the United Kingdom and give funding to communities wanting to rejuvenate their towns.

Ten Dorset projects in total have been awarded funding including Swanage Pier, the Mill Lane Revival project in Wareham and the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis.

Earlier this year the Daily Echo reported that the National Piers Society had singled out Swanage's Victorian Grade II-listed pier as one of the structures that could benefit directly from Whitehall's Coastal Revival Fund.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the funding, and said: “Our coastal communities bring so much to the UK – both culturally and economically – and it is absolutely right that we continue to invest in them.

“With a total £3m pledged for coastal projects today, it is clear we have an optimistic and ambitious approach to Britain’s seaside towns. We are providing a catalyst for further investment and securing treasured community assets for generations to come.”

Across the country, 118 projects will benefit and the Government hopes that the projects will attract around £30 million in private and public investment, creating 1,500 jobs.

Pier manager Ben Adeney, speaking ahead of Monday's funding bid deadline in September, told the Daily Echo: "The money will go towards underpinning the pier's maintenance and future sustainability."

Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois said: "From historic piers, seafronts to lidos our coastal towns are awash with striking icons which we want to celebrate but many have fallen into neglect and disuse over time.

"I urge communities to bid for this £3m Coastal Revival funding ahead of the deadline so they can kick-start restoration work and drive further investments so these icons can be restored to their full potential.

"This government is committed to reviving our seaside towns and our multimillion pound Coastal Communities Fund is having a big impact on seaside economies. At least £90 million more will be spent in the coming years."

The Coastal Revival Fund is part of the wider Coastal Communities Fund, which government has confirmed will continue for the next five years.

On Portland, £50,000 has been donated to Portland CCT to help reinvorgate West Weares and Chesil Cove.

The Chesil Bank Parish Council has been awarded £10,000 for the restoration of the Old Fleet Church Wall and in Charmouth, £1,850 has been given to establish a National Coastwatch Institution on the coast.

In Lyme Regis, the Marine Theatre will be given £39,000 to replace the dilapidated roof, The Hub will be given £10,000 to repair the building and the Town Mill Trust will be given £8,800 to conduct a report on possible expansion of the complex.

In Seatown, £11,000 will be granted so that work can begin to develop a regeneration scheme to improve access to the Jurassic Coast for visitors.

In Wareham, the town council has been given £45,000 for the Mill Lane Revival project. The Grade II listed building used by the Citizens Advice Bureau will be refurbished.