A lasting memorial to acknowledge the Eastbourne Pier fire in 2014 and the response from the community in the aftermath is still very much on the agenda – despite it approaching the fifth anniversary of the blaze and nothing installed so far.
Several designs were submitted in the months after the devastating fire on the seafront landmark to come up with an idea for a sculpture to be placed close by.
The chosen piece was called Forged by Flame, an object made from materials reclaimed from the fire including 2,0000 charred two pence pieces, and cash was allocated from a £2 million pot to boost tourism pledged by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, who visited the town in the hours after the tragedy.
It was due to take pride of place in 2016 but the sculpture has still not been made and no location found for it.
Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said this week delays to the installation had been unfortunate but he was “determined as ever to see the work of art take its place on our seafront”.
An initial plan to install it in the main section of the carpet gardens appears to have been ruled out and other sites are now being considered.
David Tutt said, “George King Architects did a superb job when the team created Forged by Flame. The sculpture captures perfectly the visceral nature of the fire that day, and also the sense of renewal that followed. I hope to be able to make an announcement soon and will ensure Eastbourne Herald readers are the first to learn about it.”
Catherine Booth at London based GKA told the Herald the Eastbourne project was very close to the hearts of those at GKA and said, “The project is still live, it’s just taking a bit longer than we anticipated to get off the ground. We are currently waiting on the council to make some decisions about next steps.”