Piers ‘saved’ for future generations

Coun Joe Plant on the East Pier, happy about the secured funding to restore both piers''w132803a
Coun Joe Plant on the East Pier, happy about the secured funding to restore both piers''w132803a

Action is being taken to secure the future of Whitby’s piers after almost £5million of funding was pledged from the Environment Agency.

After what borough councillor Joe Plant described as five years’ hard work, he received the “fantastic news for Whitby” that the agency was set to award £4.8m towards repair work for Whitby’s two piers, including installing new sea defences.

“It was a lot of time and hard work, but I am pleased to say £4.8m is the right result. The repairs are a really long time coming and finally we can say the work is being put in.”

The repairs have been identified and applied for through the Whitby Coastal Defence Strategy 2. However, the hard work is not over yet for Coun Plant and the working party as experts must now be commissioned to discover what work needs to be done.

An application must also be made to the borough council, who need to contribute a proportion of the overall funding required. Coun Plant added: With the cutbacks as they are and the economic climate, it’s going to be very difficult. But there’s no point in working for five years to not get the rest of the funding. It would be a total waste of effort and I’m pretty sure we will get funding.”

Coun Mike Cockerill, chairman of Whitby Harbour Board, explained that the borough council will now commission experts to discover what work needs to be done, and begin the search for contractors to complete it.

Although neither he nor Coun Plant could confirm the East Pier extension bridge would be reopened, Coun Plant said now was the “perfect time” to get the link back. Sea defences will also form part of the repairs, which could mean the installation of ‘rock armour’ to the outside of the piers.

Coun Plant added: “It’s about Whitby. It’s for Whitby and its future generations. For a lot of years people have enjoyed walking along the piers and the extensions and hopefully in future a lot more people will enjoy the same.”