The general manager of Eastbourne Pier has said millions of pounds have been spent on repairs and maintenance after a resident said she was shocked at the ‘utter neglect’ of the attraction.
Mrs Mitchell, of Fairoaks, Polegate, said she feared the iconic building would be ‘lost forever’ if repairs were not made, and flagged up the state of the seating amongst her concerns saying it was broken in many places and that in areas there was no paint left.
But Christos Stylianou said the pier had been a victim of the recent bad weather which had also hampered repairs and maintenance, adding, “As you may be aware, the company that owns Eastbourne Pier also operates another three piers – two in Blackpool and one in Llandudno.
“The challenges of operating piers are many, but the most significant is most certainly how to keep a structure that is over 140 years old safe and secure from falling into the sea.
“We employ structural engineers who are responsible for advising on the replacement of the steelwork that is under the pier and we follow a strict inspection regime and have a cycle of steel and deck replacement but this work is not seen by the visitors as it is under the deck. You may have seen the works that we are currently undertaking on the entrance mall and the midway units as well as replacing 200 sqm of timber decking by the entrance of the arcade, and rebuilding our entire bin storage unit. These are just a small part of our ongoing works and whilst much of our intended work cannot be undertaken in the winter months we are constantly refreshing areas, internally and externally.”
He added, “Being a privately owned company we are unable to secure grant funding so all the works that are undertaken are funded from the income generated from the Operation of the pier and since 1998 when we purchased the pier we have spent many millions of pounds on repairs and maintenance and we do continue to reinvest into the pier.”