Plans for much-loved local pier revealed

1:25pm - 18 November 2021

Final plans to save historic but dilapidated Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare have been announced.

We’ve formally agreed to join forces with the RNLI, with support from Historic England, to renovate the Grade II* listed Victorian pier and bring the charity’s vital lifesaving work back onto the island.

The plans are to:

  • purchase the pier from the private owner, avoiding a long Compulsory Purchase Order process during which more damage to the pier could have taken place
  • bring the RNLI’s lifesaving work back to the pier
  • allow the public back onto this iconic structure to enjoy the stunning views across the water.

There’s a lot of work to be done but this is the first step towards bringing Birnbeck back to life.

In June last year we announced plans for the RNLI to take ownership of the pier and island and a lot of work has been going on behind-the-scenes since then.

The private owner of the pier and island has now agreed to sell them to the council.

Renovation and providing a new lifeboat station will require a significant programme of works, which will be phased over several years.

This will be funded through a variety of sources, including the RNLI, Historic England, and specific grants and trusts reserved for restoration and community projects.

Birnbeck Pier is one of only six Grade II* piers surviving in the country. There are four further Grade II structures and buildings located on the island and the landward end of the site.

The pier was designed by noted Victorian engineer Eugenius Birch.

Construction took place between 1862 and 1867, with the foundation stone being laid in 1864.

It opened to the public in 1866 but closed to the public in 1994 for safety reasons.