Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 15:02 UK

Cash grant to aid pier's future

Birnbeck Pier
The pier was built in the 1800s and links Weston to the island

A dilapidated pier is to have 80,000 spent on it as part of an ongoing regeneration programme.

English Heritage is to donate the money to help vital work to repair parts of Birnbeck Pier in Weston-Super-Mare.

The money will go to the pier's owners, regeneration company Urban Splash, to assist with carrying out trial repairs to one of the trestles.

"This will increase stability but also help to decide how to carry out overall restoration," said a spokesman.

Birnbeck Pier, a Grade II-listed building, has suffered from neglect and was highlighted by English Heritage as one of the top 16 Buildings at Risk in the 2007 Register.

The pier was completed in 1866 and is the only pier in the UK to connect the mainland to an island situated just off the coast.

During World War II, the pier was home to the Department for Miscellaneous Weapon Development.

Arnold Root, of English Heritage, said: "The initial repair work we are funding will help Urban Splash to design and implement the full pier repair project, which will be a long-term process."

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