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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 06:09 GMT
West Pier revamp approved
West Pier fire, 28 March 2003 - part of the pier collapses
A fire in March left just a metal skeleton at the pier's pavilion end
English Heritage has given its approval for a multi-million pound refurbishment of Brighton's West Pier.

The decision, which was announced on Thursday, is a massive boost to the West Pier Trust, which is fighting to restore the historic landmark.

The structure suffered two major fires this year and was battered by storms.

English Nature said the pier was still important in terms of engineering design and architectural ambition.

'An enduring symbol'

A report by English Heritage said the pier was an "enduring symbol of Brighton".

After the fires in March and May, campaigners vowed to continue with plans to refurbish the pier, which had been given planning permission by Brighton council.

After the fire, the council asked English Heritage for its advice on whether the scheme should go ahead and on Thursday the project was given a green light.

The pier closed down in 1975 and there have been numerous campaigns to rebuild it since then.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has still to consider the 44m refurbishment plan at a meeting in January.

It is expected that work will not start until 2005 and could take two years to complete.

In pictures: Brighton's West Pier
19 Dec 03  |  Photo Gallery
West Pier 'most important in world'
04 Nov 03  |  Southern Counties
Pier fires spark review of restoration
15 May 03  |  Southern Counties
Pier fire flares up again
12 May 03  |  Southern Counties
In pictures: West Pier fire
28 Mar 03  |  Photo Gallery


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