Work resumes this week at fire damaged pier

Work has recommenced on Eastbourne Pier. SUS-140909-103954001
Work has recommenced on Eastbourne Pier. SUS-140909-103954001
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As rebuilding work began on Eastbourne Pier this week, it has been revealed that 11 people suffering hardship because of the fire have received financial help so far.

Money from the Pier Benevolent Fund has been given out to traders or workers whose jobs have been affected by the fire and more applications are currently being considered.

The fund, managed by Eastbourne and District Chamber of Commerce, now stands at £7,000 through donations from local people, businesses and fundraising events.

Workmen returned to the site on Monday morning after a three week shutdown following the death of Stephen Penrice who died when he fell from the structure.

The site had been sealed off for an investigation by police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Contractors are currently making the area safe after the blaze on July 30 and rebuild the original public access ways around the fire-damaged section.

Once this is completed, the southern two-thirds of the pier that was not damaged by the fire will be accessible. It is hoped this part will be opened during the final quarter of 2014.

A spokesperson at Eastbourne Borough Council said, “The contractors are working hard on site so that the pier is reopened as soon as possible. This week they have been clearing debris and making the area safe so they can start rebuilding public access ways around the fire damaged section.”

Mr Penrice’s funeral is to be held in his hometown of Maryport in Cumbria. The 44-year-old suffered fatal head injuries during the fall.

To continue the fundraising for the Pier Benevolent Fund, tickets are now on sale for an event at the Long Man Brewery later this month.

There will be live music, a hog roast and brewery tour between 2pm and 5pm on Saturday September 20 with a return coach from Eastbourne.

Tickets cost £20 and include two pints of Craft Pier, the new beer brewed to raise money for the fund.

There are only 40 spaces left, so anyone interested in attending is advised to reserve their tickets soon by visiting www.curiousbeerclub.co.uk/CraftPierEvent.html

Anyone wishing to apply for a grant from the fund can find out more by visiting www.3va.org.uk/node/2215 or contacting 3VA on 01323 639373 or emailing pierfund@3va.org.uk