Parts of Eastbourne Pier will re-open to the public next Saturday (September 27).
The reopening will be celebrated with a fun day for all the family and has been welcomed by residents and visitors alike.
The town’s MP Stephen Lloyd said yesterday, “I am delighted our beloved pier is partially opening so soon after the devastating fire.
“Credit must go to the dedicated team at the pier which has worked so hard to reopen so quickly in such difficult circumstances.
“Despite the tragedy I know everyone will be thrilled to see the pier reopen and while there is still work to do, I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday where I know the pier owners have a full day of fun planned for the whole family.”
Traders are expected to be allowed back into their shops on the pier early next week in time for the big reopening.
The news came as the funeral of workman Stephen Penrice took place in his native Cumbria on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Penrice died after falling from the seafront structure while rebuilding work was taking place.
Pier managers and fellow workmen travelled up to Cumbria for the service.
As the Pier Benevolent Fund, set up to help those who lost their livelihoods in the July 30 blaze, topped the £7,000 mark, it also emerged that the number of applications for help from the fund has risen to 32.
The grant bids have been from kiosk owners and workers whose jobs have been directly affected by the pier fire. Decisions are made by a fund grants panel that meets regularly to consider the submissions and the cut off date was yesterday (Thursday). More than £30, 000 in cash has been distributed.
In addition more than 8,750 pints of Craft Beer have been sold so far, raising more than £1,000 for the Pier Benevolent Fund.
The Long Man Brewery and Eastbourne’s Curious Beer Club launched the new beer last month and are donating all sales profits up to £10,000 to help those affected by the fire. Craft Pier proved to be a popular tipple for spectators at the Eastbourne leg of the Tour of Britain event. About 300 pints were sold on Saturday when the town welcomed cyclists who rode along the seafront, to Beachy Head and East Dean.