Almost half of a Government pot of £20million will be invested into preserving and improving Bournemouth Pier.

BCP Council plans to allocate £9.626million towards structural engineering of the pier and its leisure offer.

It is anticipated repairs will extend the life of the pier's concrete pillars by 30 years and the timber landings by 15 years. Currently without investment the structure would be "at risk of closure".

Councillor Millie Earl, deputy leader of BCP council, said: “We’ve looked at a number of options to secure the pier and ensure that one of Bournemouth’s most iconic attractions remains safe and open for years to come.

“Without this work, the pier would remain at risk of closure, but this levelling up investment will help to safeguard jobs and access at one of the town’s most iconic attractions for a generation.”

The Daily Echo asked what the lifespan of the pier would be without the work taking place but BCP Council was not able to provide any details. 

The investment comes under part of the coastal communities seafront infrastructure project, which successfully secured the huge award from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) earlier this year.

Other schemes include stabilisation work on the East Cliff and a new Bournemouth Lifeguard Corps building.

Bournemouth Echo: The East Cliff lift has been out of action for many years following a landslipThe East Cliff lift has been out of action for many years following a landslip

Council leaders are set to sign off on approving the delivery of the £19.994million programme, which officers say will achieve benefits of more than £100million.

All of the projects must be completed by March 2025.

A report to the cabinet meeting on September 6 by strategic development manager for planning and destination Andrew Emery said the LUF will safeguard 149 existing jobs and create 72 new roles.

It will support an increase in physical activity, health and wellbeing, a reduction in crime and an improved sense of place, Mr Emery’s report said.

“The infrastructure investment programme targets new and revived facilities and public amenities linking across Bournemouth and Poole’s seafront,” the report said.

“Investments are targeted toward decaying and derelict facilities across the West Cliff, Boscombe and Hamworthy areas which all feature in the top 20 per cent of lower layer super output area (small geographical areas) for deprivation nationally.

“LUF investment enables seafront revenue maintenance budget to target priorities elsewhere across the 15 miles of coastline, including Christchurch. Priorities outside of LUF will be reviewed as part of the seafront strategy refresh planned for autumn 2023, leading to cabinet report in January 2024.”

Summarising what the investment will deliver, the report says:

  • Extend the life of Bournemouth’s iconic pier by a further 15 years
  • Rehabilitate the East Cliff lift site by stabilising the cliff and allowing the promenade to be reopened as a first stage toward aspirations to reinstate a new lift
  • Bring derelict and temporary facilities back into use as a new community lifeguard training and education centre at Joseph Steps
  • Two new seafront public toilet blocks at Durley Chine and the East Cliff
  • Replacement of 80 council owned short let hire beach huts
  • Sea wall repairs to Hamworthy Park securing the future of the promenade

Bournemouth Echo: Hamworthy ParkHamworthy Park

  • Improvements to two miles of promenade public realm between Boscombe Pier and Bournemouth West Cliff, with upgraded public seating, bins, cycle infrastructure, and access
  • Power, water services, and 5G infrastructure installed at nine key sites between Boscombe and the West Cliff, enabling the tendering and development of sustainable seasonal beach-based restaurants and leisure facilities
  • Heritage trail featuring 10 pieces of public art and interpretation linking with key coastal heritage sites at Upton Country Park, Poole Museum, the Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Mudeford Quay, and Highcliffe Castle
  • Restore a bridge and pathway providing the only cycle and walking access route from Poole town centre to Upton Country Park on the edge of the bay
  • Take concept studies to commercially deliverable stage for rehabilitating Alum Chine shelter into new community facilities, café and beach huts, café and creative maker/outlet units on Boscombe Pier and studies to develop the cultural offer

The report provides the following breakdown on how the money will be allocated:

  • Upton Country Park (bridge and cycle path) £171,975
  • Hamworthy sea wall (repairs) £318,056
  • Coastal heritage trail £569,833
  • Alum Chine Cloisters (leisure offer) £52,848
  • Boscombe Pier (leisure offer) £52,848
  • Holes Bay Visual Arts Centre £52,848
  • The Strand (access, amenity and wellbeing) £406,929
  • Promenade infrastructure (utility and digital) £986,967
  • Bournemouth Lifeguard Corps (new building) £1,420,535
  • Bournemouth Pier (structural engineering) £4,812,964
  • Bournemouth Pier (leisure offer) £4,812,964
  • East Cliff lift (stabilisation works) £2,205,712
  • East Cliff lift (leisure offer) £2,205,712
  • Seafront toilets (repairs and upgrades) £443,923
  • Seafront beach huts (repairs and upgrades) £1,479,744