Southport Pier closure reaches one-year mark amidst £13M repair challenge

13th December 2023
Southport pier is one of the longest and oldest of its kind in the country. Image by Martin Maynard CC 4.0

Today marks a full calendar year since the iconic Southport Pier was closed to the public.

The closure, which occurred on December 13, 2022, was initially announced by Sefton Council as a ‘temporary’ measure, but the pier remains inaccessible to visitors and locals alike, casting a shadow over its future.

Initially the closure was a result of damage discovered after inclement weather, but further investigsation revealed significant structural and safety issues.

Sefton Council declined to comment when approached by OTS News for a reaction to the anniversary of the closure, but highlighted its most recent update and a list of frequently asked questions was available on its website.

The financial challenge of funding these repairs has proven to be a major obstacle. Sefton Council, responsible for the pier’s upkeep, has openly expressed its inability to single-handedly shoulder the cost of the necessary renovations. £3m has been budgeted by the local athority for repairs, but assessment of the pier has revealed that the full cost of repairs will amount to £13m.

“Extensive exploratory and investigative works” began in November and are scheduled to continue until February, but these works do not amount to a full repair.

Concessionaire Colin Jamieson has also previously announced he intends to take Sefton Council to court over the closure.

Sefton Council has repeatedly denied there are any plans to demolish Southport Pier. The pier is afforded significant legal protection from being a Grade II listed structure, but provisions do exist to knock down listed structures in extreme cases on safety concerns.

The local authority has said it is “committed” to the pier but that they: “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.”