Page last updated at 20:28 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Public pack meeting over pier at Colwyn Bay

Colwyn Bay pier
The condition of the Victorian pier has been deteriorating

A packed public meeting discussed the future of Colwyn Bay's "deteriorating" Victorian pier.

The Grade II-listed pier opened in 1900 but it needs plenty of restoration work to return it to its best condition.

There was an overwhelming show of hands in favour of renovating the pier at the meeting on Friday night.

Clwyd West MP David Jones said the message from the meeting was that people were looking to Conwy council for leadership.

He had said before the meeting that people needed to decide if they wanted to save the pier or see it demolished.

"The proposals for the regeneration of Colwyn Bay's waterfront cannot realistically go ahead without incorporating the pier," he said.

Mr Jones has said the "progressively deteriorating" state of the Victorian pier was "a huge cause of concern" to most residents.

"The questions that need to be considered, therefore, are whether the pier should be renovated and, if so, how? Where will the money come from?

Coastal defences

"Alternatively, should consideration be given, as many people suggest, to demolishing it altogether?

"The purpose of the meeting will be to take the temperature of opinion within the town on this important matter."

The pier once attracted entertainers such as Morecambe and Wise, Ken Dodd and Harry Secombe, while rock stars Motorhead, Elvis Costello and Slade also appeared there.

In the summer there used to be a resident orchestra and leading political figures also spoke there.

Previous owners had hoped to transform it into a casino and tourist attraction and tried to sell it in an internet auction.

The pier's most recent owner, who worked for more than five years to restore it, was declared bankrupt in 2008 after a row over business rates and council tax.

It is currently in the hands of receivers.

Last May it was announced that Colwyn Bay would be among a number of areas across north Wales to benefit from £38m of investment, with the improvements in the town focusing on the sea front.

In August a further £20m was unveiled for regeneration by the Welsh Assembly Government in Colwyn Bay and Rhyl.

Conwy council's Bay Life scheme includes plans for coastal defences, a centre of sporting excellence and relocating council offices to the town centre.

The public meeting was at the council chamber in Colwyn Bay.

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