Funding for the piers repairs set to be ‘approved’

Whitby piers take a battering. Picture by Ceri Oakes.
Whitby piers take a battering. Picture by Ceri Oakes.

A multi-million pound scheme to restore Whitby’s historic piers to protect the ancient port from the ravages of the North Sea, is set to get the go-ahead from councillors – but all the cash is not yet available.

Scarborough Council is being recommended to approve the project budget of £9m, subject to achieving external funding, when it meets on Friday.


Leading Whitby councillor, Joe Plant, the mayor-elect of Scarborough, said: “This news is warmly welcomed throughout Whitby. It is a scheme which has been long-awaited but which will have enormous long-term benefits for Whitby, not least in protecting the harbour, and the many homes and businesses which around it, from the sea for generations to come.”


Built some two centuries ago, the much photographed piers which have been featured in calendars and holiday brochures nationwide for years, are Grade II listed by English Heritage.


Lisa Dixon, the authority’s director, said top civil engineering company, Balfour Beatty had been appointed contractors or the scheme, carrying out the design and costings of the work.


Other sources of funding are being sought, she added, with decisions expected in the next two months. A Flood Defence Grant has been offered by the Environment Agency of £4.8 million, with further bids being made to the European Structural Investment Fund and the Marine Management Organisation.


North Yorkshire County Council has agreed to contribute a further £1.9 million to enable the scheme to go ahead.


Last week, borough council cabinet member, Cllr Mike Cockerill said that the funding is still uncertain, but that the council is working to make the project happen.


He told the Gazette: “We don’t know if we have enough. We should know by the end of March if we have enough or not. Everything is designed but we are waiting on the decisions on a number of funding bodies and external agencies. We are totally in the hands of the external agencies.”


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