MONEY should be set aside to repair damage to an iconic Bournemouth attraction, says a leading conservation group in the town.

Kenneth Mantock, chairman of the Bournemouth Civic Society, has said he would be in support of repairs to Bournemouth Pier.

It follows concerns raised by residents about the state of the pier, with some fearing it is being left to ‘rot’ by the local authority.

Kenneth said: “Piers are very much part of a seaside town's heritage. It’s an attraction that people come to an area for, especially Bournemouth, to enjoy.

“You have to understand that if you’ve got to raise a million pounds plus to get it sorted, that is a huge amount of money, but it is something we think that money should be set aside to help fund.”

In March, Bournemouth resident Susan Whitton launched a ‘Save the Pier’ campaign, and accused BCP Council of letting it ‘rot into the sea’.

Then, in August, another Bournemouth resident shared photos of damage to the pier's landing stages, stairs, and fenders.

However, Kenneth confirmed that the pier’s state had been a topic of conversation for long before that.

Bournemouth Echo: Damage to the Bournemouth Pier stairs Damage to the Bournemouth Pier stairs

He said: “I remember being asked at the Civic Society about the pier about 10 years ago, and that was back in the Bournemouth Borough Council days.

“I know they did surveys and they said it would cost an enormous amount of money to do, and I think because of the costs nothing happened, and effectively there was continuation of deterioration.

“There has been talks over the years about the funding of such repairs. We’re pragmatic about loading up the council tax with enormous sums, but having said that, it's the basic infrastructure of a seaside town that wants to maintain its heritage and attraction to businesses. Facilities like this need to be looked after and invested in.

“It means being creative and finding pots of money and availability of funding to make it happen.”

BCP Council are aware of the residents’ concerns and confirmed that they have undertaken a structural survey on the pier.

They said the survey is “lengthy and incredibly technical” and remains under assessment and review.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Once this process is complete, we will be able to confirm whether we believe any further actions are required, including whether there is a requirement to publish the survey in full.”