Majority of pier stock retrieved undamaged

General view of fire damage on Eastbourne Pier, Sussex. PPP-140108-205246002
General view of fire damage on Eastbourne Pier, Sussex. PPP-140108-205246002

Eastbourne Pier traders were granted access to the fire-damaged site to retrieve stock on Friday August 8.

It has been revealed that most stock has been recovered undamaged and it is hoped that shop owners and concessionaires will be able to begin trading as soon as possible.

Sammy Morgan, who opened a teddy bear factory which raises money for military heroes has already been relocated in a previously empty unit of Grove Road.

She had expressed concern at what would happen in the future, having struggled to obtain insurance in an event such as the fire which took place on Thursday July 31.

But she managed to recover all of her stock, which had escaped any damage.

Eastbourne Pier, meanwhile, is in the process of sorting out replacement stock for traders who have been badly affected by fire, water or smoke damage.

Eastbourne Borough Council, Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Stephen Lloyd and Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce have been working to get pier staff and traders back on their feet.

Nearly all of the 38 staff who worked on the pier have found alternative employment within Eastbourne.

A large clean-up operation is now underway on the pier.

Debris is being loaded into skips and repair work is progressing to make the site safe for the re-opening in October.

An entry and exit route are being prepared so that the end of the pier, which escaped damage, can be accessed.

Elsewhere, a colourful montage of images is currently in progress, which will be showcased on the fencing around the pier.

The montage will show the history of the pier and give a timeline of when repair work will be carried out.

Eastbourne Borough Council is funding the montage.

The Eastbourne Pier Benevolent Fund has now raised more than £4,000 to help businesses to survive the disaster.

To donate to the fund, send cheques to the Chamber Office, 7 Hyde Gardens, BN21 4PN or make a BACS transfer to Sort Code 402006, Account number 92154501, quoting reference EPBF.