The decision to temporarily close the structure has been confirmed once more by images released from exploratory work being done on Southport Pier.
On iconic Southport Pier, extensive exploratory and intrusive investigative work is currently being conducted to determine what must be done in order to safely reopen it.
The contractor, A E Yates, provided the sobering images that Sefton Council published. They show damage to the decking boards and large holes and erosion in the steelwork of the pier.
As Sefton Council attempts to secure a sustainable funding solution for the necessary capital works and ongoing maintenance, the exploratory activities are proceeding according to plan and in stages.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:
“If there is anyone out there who still believes the Pier should not currently be closed then these images will make them think again.
“Our contractors A E Yates have been superb in carrying out these exploratory works and without them extensively removing the decking boards, we would not be able to see the shocking level of damage to the steelwork.
“As everyone can see this is by no means a small task and I want to thank A E Yates for their work so far. It gives us an even better understanding of the current structural integrity of the Pier.
“Sadly, owing to poor workmanship commissioned in 2000, work that should have lasted up to 30 years for timber and longer for the steel work was sub-standard and we inherited a structure that was flawed. These pictures clearly show that.
“As we all know you can patch up a car or a house with temporary repairs and fixes, but if the structure you’re maintaining is flawed, you are going to need some major work and that’s the point we have reached
“As custodians of this iconic structure, Sefton Council has reiterated its complete support towards the full refurbishment of Southport Pier.
“However, the Council simply does not have the budgets required to fulfil these works without help, and we strongly believe that a nationally significant heritage asset such as this should have national funding allocated for both the project and the ongoing maintenance thereafter.”
The Council is keeping in constant contact with possible funders and stakeholders in an effort to close this sizable funding gap.