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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2008, 08:07 GMT
Pier restoration plans unveiled
Aerial view of Mumbles pier
John Bollom's father Stan first leased the land in the 1930s
Plans have been unveiled for a 39m regeneration scheme which includes the restoration of Mumbles pier and a new luxury hotel in Swansea.

Ameco, the family firm which has owned Mumbles Pier for 70 years, said around 4m of rebuilding work was essential.

It hopes to fund this by developing the surrounding land with the construction of a hotel and other facilities which it said would create hundreds of jobs.

Swansea Council's leader said he was "delighted" about the proposals.

John Bollom is managing director of Ameco and his father Stan rebuilt the pier, which was originally built in 1898, in 1956.

Annual maintenance was no longer sufficient to safeguard the 250m (820ft) pier's future and meet health and safety requirements, he said.

He added: "The legs it sits on are fine. What goes across, like a bridge made up of steel work, and timber decking, everything has to be replaced."

Job creation

After running costs are met, the pier does not generate much money, he said, and was not eligible for public grants so to generate the necessary finances they needed to develop the adjoining land by its entrance.

The idea is to demolish the Pier Hotel and redevelop the site as a luxury 150-bed hotel and spa, he said.

A conference and exhibition centre, attractions and a family entertainment centre plus restaurants, improved public spaces and a new boardwalk linking Knab Rock to the pier were proposed.

Around 450 jobs would be created during construction, said Mr Bollom, and between 200 - 250 after completion.

The plans were in line with the council's plans for Swansea Bay, outlined in the Swansea Bay Strategy, said Mr Bollom.

They had worked jointly on a development plan, similar to outline planning permission, and Mr Bollom hoped it would be granted in the next month.

Old picture of Mumbles Pier
Stan Bollam (in lighter jacket) at the pier reopening in 1956

If this happens, a detailed design could be put together and they could begin talking to hotel operators.

There is a RNLI lifeboat station on the pier and the crew are due to receive a larger state-of-the-art lifeboat by 2011, for which they will need a larger station.

The charity confirmed it was in talks with the pier owners about the best location.

Cllr Chris Holley, Swansea Council leader, said: "The Swansea bay Strategy aims to produce nodes around the bay that provide jobs and visitor attractions and the Mumbles Pier proposals appear to be entirely in line with that.

"We must, therefore, act promptly to ensure this development comes to fruition, once the council has had the opportunity to evaluate the proposals, we will swiftly progress to development stage with Ameco."

Jean Bunce, secretary of the Mumbles Tourist Association which runs the Mumbles Tourist Information Centre, welcomed the hotel idea.

She said: "It was mooted some years ago but came to nothing at the time. Mumbles is so woefully short of hotel accommodation. A hotel would be absolutely excellent."



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