Campaigners fighting for funding to help refurbish Whitby’s ageing piers received good news from Westminster this week.
Whitby’s MP Robert Goodwill met with Dan Rogerson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Water, Forestry, Rural Affairs and Resource Management, with the aim of securing additional funds.
Mr Goodwill told the Whitby Gazette: “Having met Dan Rogerson, I urged the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to help prevent what would be a catastrophy should the piers fail.
“DEFRA now understand that like so many other local authorities, the borough council do not have massive reserves of cash. I made the point that even if they can’t provide all the funding that we need, that shouldn’t stop them from doing anything.
“DEFRA are going to go away and see what can be done to help us. I’m encouraged by what they had to say.”
Whitby’s piers are in urgent need of work, and if public money isn’t found to match £4.8million in grant funding, they are said to be in danger of failing at any moment.
Whitby councillor Joe Plant, who has been working alongside Mr Goodwill in trying to secure the funding, added: “It is absolutely brilliant that DEFRA sound so positive about being able to help us after meeting Robert. This is fantastic news.”
Coun Plant revealed that the borough council have now confirmed that global engineering consultants Mott McDonald have been contracted undertake the designing of the upgrades to the piers.
“Things continue to move forward,” he added.
“If we are to achieve our aims of redeveloping the piers then we cannot afford to stand still.”