Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust is a registered charity which has existed since 2004. Our primary objective is to save the 150 year old derelict and neglected Grade II* listed Birnbeck Pier. The pier has been closed to the public since 1994, is the only pier in the UK which leads to an island, and is currently in private ownership. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been approached and has expressed considerable interest in assisting with an award as soon as is it is practically possible for us to make a formal application. The Trust has agreed in principle a long lease with the owners to facilitate the renewal and restoration the pier.

The Trust is formally constituted with a full body of Trustees. It has an expanding team of enthusiastic volunteers who come from a diverse range of ages and backgrounds; the Trust encourages everyone to be part of ‘Team Birnbeck’; without the efforts of our volunteers we could not deliver the vision of a regenerated Birnbeck for the benefit of the local and wider community.

Our proposed Aviva project is to provide a semi-permanent building on the mainland overlooking the pier ,where the Trust can increase public awareness, provide education and develop further fundraising opportunities for several years to come. The building would provide, but not be limited to:
• a safe and enjoyable environment which the general public can visit to learn about the history of the pier and the efforts to save it and how they can engage and become part of the project;
• an opportunity for local people to make their own suggestions about how the project will develop and what the renovated pier will offer
• a space where children, including school parties, can learn about this part of their local history, developing a valuable interest in aspects of historical appreciation and architecture, take part in activities such as model making and drawing, and develop recognition that they themselves in time can become part of this future;
• facilitate older children and young adults becoming involved in the recording of history, the project will provide equipment to record verbal, video and photographic memories of the pier from the general public and then compile this record to be shared outwardly by the Trust;
• provide a space where the history of the pier can be shared with all who visit, displaying what has been gathered or created or recorded, thus encouraging discussion to creatively build on the dissemination of this important knowledge base;
• create a space that the volunteer team can be better managed from, providing an employment opportunity for one or more part-time volunteer and learning coordinators
. provide volunteering and training opportunities for local people; specifically targeting those who are disadvantaged through long-term unemployment, mental or physical disability or other issues, enabling them to develop skills and experience to assist them in moving into paid employment
The building would also offer meeting space to local voluntary and social groups

The early work to encourage community awareness of the plight of the pier began in 2015 and, with the consent of the owners, was run from Pier View, a small building beside the pier, which also serves refreshments in return for small donations. We have now outgrown this building. When this new project is established, there will be space available in Pier View to develop the refreshment and souvenir service, also increasing revenue and pushing the overall project forward.

We are applying for the grant of £25,000 which will be spent as follows -
£12,000 – for a ‘porta-cabin’ type building , including installation
£8,400 – for an initial part-time Volunteer and Learning Coordinator (for 1 year, subsequent years will be covered through fundraising in the centre)
£3,100 – to equip the building, including audio-visual and photography equipment
£1,500 - for security, CCTV, etc

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust

Moment of Pride

I have only lived in the area for a short time, but have fallen in love with the pier and was welcomed into the volunteer group enthusiastically and made to feel part of this amazing project. The enthusiasm and love that the Trust members show for the pier is inspiring.

Location: Weston-super-Mare