The fire-damaged Eastbourne Pier will be rebuilt and restored to its former glory.
The owners of the iconic landmark have also revealed special walkways will be built on the beach so the undamaged parts can be used by members of the public later in the year.
The news came as Pier owners Cuerden Leisure Ltd issued a statement yesterday thanking the local community of Eastbourne for their support and offers of assistance.
Manager Christos Stylianou said, “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the brave fire fighters and RNLI for helping to contain the fire and for saving the Waterfront Bar, Atlantis Nightclub and many concession units on the deck. They worked tirelessly for many hours trying to combat the blaze against the wind fanning the flames further down the pier.
“It was heartbreaking watching as the fire took hold and ravaged the main arcade building. Even though the Blue Room has been totally destroyed by fire, we have to be grateful the rest of the splendid pier was saved.
“The pier is seen by many as the heart of Eastbourne seafront. It evokes so many memories for so many people: sweethearts who have met on the pier, brides that have held civil ceremonies in the Ocean Suite, students and locals who have enjoyed the nightclub and all the holidaymakers who have enjoyed promenading on the deck.
“It is only when you nearly lose something that you really start to appreciate what it means to everyone.
“The people of Eastbourne have been unbelievable – the camaraderie, the pulling together – true Dunkirk spirit. All parties have been tremendous in helping us pick up the pieces, in helping seasonal staff find alternative employment, and in helping concessionaires carry on their businesses.
“Before the terrible fire took hold everyone was evacuated from the pier safely and without injury; a testimony to the staff and the fire drills they regularly rehearse.
“Further ahead we will be working closely with the local authority and all its planning departments, including English Heritage, on how we can best replace the destroyed parts of the pier.”