Campaigners calling for the renovation of a disused pier say they are ready to approach the Charity Commission about setting up a dedicated trust.
It follows confirmation from Canterbury City Council that it will support the move in aid of Herne Bay Pier.
Consultation will now take place with supporters who are already working on a set of "aims and objectives".
The centre of the pier collapsed in 1978. Two buildings remain close to the shore with an isolated head out at sea.
Plans are already in place to reopen walkways around the land-based section this summer.
The formation of a charitable trust to take forward further refurbishment was approved by Canterbury City Council's executive committee.
Councillor John Gilbey, leader of the council, said: "We recognise that there is strong local support for the pier as an important feature of Herne Bay, and as a focus for regeneration.
"Forming a trust to drive forward improvements is a logical step.
"It could lead to major improvements to the pier and big benefits to the town in the long term."
A message on the Herne Bay Pier Pressure Group's website said: "Even at this early stage, we would like to say a big thank you to all the people who have signed our petition.
"This support has greatly persuaded the council that we want the pier restored."