Labour’s Local Government Minister has given a big thumbs up to the progress of the People’s Pier and says supporters should feel proud of what they’ve achieved so far.
Andy Sawford MP joined Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Owen for a tour of the pier and to meet the team overseeing the work.
The charity's chief exec, Simon Opie, and senior engineers explained the history of the pier, structural challenges they are facing in restoring it and how forming the People's Pier Co-operative has enabled anyone to become shareholders in the unique project.
Andy and Sarah were also invited to the White Rock Hotel, by manager Laurence Bell, to pull and sample a pint of Pier - the local ale where a percentage of the profits go towards restoring the structure.
Andy Sawford MP said: "I am very impressed with Hastings. It's a beautiful town with a great community spirit. The work on the pier is exciting and I would love to come back to see it once it's open.
“It's also refreshing to hear of the on-going efforts of the local council in cleaning up the seafront. Hastings people should be proud of what they've achieved."
We are continuing to make Hastings a place to be proud of,' Sarah Owen
The People’s Pier is an important part of Hastings’ future and Sarah has been supporting the scheme from the start, even laying the first plank and climbing the three highest mountains in the UK to raise funds.
Sarah Owen said: "It was important to show Andy, our shadow minister responsible for regeneration, what is happening in Hastings.
“After 2010, nearly all central funding for big projects in the town stopped, but he saw with the hard work that's been carried out by our pro-active community and our pro-active council we are continuing to make Hastings a place to be proud of.
“It was fantastic to end the visit by pulling a pint of tasty Pier to raise money for the Hastings Pier Charity - a great cause and a great pint."
After the visit to the pier, Andy met Cllr Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council lead member for Regeneration, on the prom to see the results of action taken by Hastings Borough Council on scruffy seafront properties under its 'Grotbusters' scheme.