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Council to fund pier improvements

13 March 09 09:28 GMT

Up to £4m in council tax may be invested in improvements to a pier in Essex nearly four years after it was partly destroyed by fire.

A pub, gift shop and takeaway on Southend Pier were destroyed in the October 2005 blaze.

Southend Borough Council hopes to secure grants of £4m for the rejuvenation of the pier and will match the funding from its own budget.

Initially, the council had hoped a private firm would provide the money.

However, because of the recession such funds have not been forthcoming.

At 1.34 miles (2.16km), Southend Pier - opened in 1889 - is one of the longest pleasure piers in the world.

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