CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Colwyn Bay’s pier claim it is not the end of the road, revealing they are in talks with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) over grant funding.
The chairman of Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust Mark Roberts says they have “never been this advanced in the process before”, following a meeting with the HLF on August 8 in which representatives from the council were also present.
In July, campaigners vowed to keep fighting for the pier despite Conwy Council submitting an application for Listed Building Consent to dismantle the pier to the Welsh Government for determination.
Mr Roberts said: “We met the other day with the head of HLF in Wales who said he was prepared to entertain an application for resilient heritage funding.
“It is fantastic news from the doom and gloom following our previous meeting with the HLF representative.
“This if successful would help us to further develop our business case and our plans to restore and extend the pier thereby breathing new life into it and bringing it back to beneficial use.
“From a position where we thought the door had been slammed in our faces, it obviously hasn’t.
“We are going to keep Richard Bellamy the head of HLF in Wales informed of progress and hopefully something will come to fruition at the end of it. We hope it will, that is what we want. So let’s hope we succeed.”
In February, the council and Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust had a meeting which involved ‘positive talks’ on the future of the pier.
Mr Roberts said: “The new relationship with Conwy County Borough Council is maturing. We will be having regular meetings with officers and members of the Council’s pier board with regard to developing our business case and to keep them appraised of developments with our scheme.
“We’ve never been this advanced in the process before. The council have been very supportive and they are cooperating with us which is a long way from where we started and far from the situation which faced the trust 18 months ago. We value the council’s continued support and hope it continues for years to come.”
Richard Bellamy, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “At Heritage Lottery Fund we invest time and resources in developing a constructive dialogue with all our potential applicants to ensure they have a clear understanding of our funding criteria and we advise them accordingly. This helps the applicants in deciding whether to make an application to us or potentially to tailor it in view of the discussion.
“We are in ongoing dialogue with the Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust (CVPT) and the local authority regarding their plans for the future of the pier.
“The nature of any further discussions that we have will depend first of all on the outcome of the council’s application for Listed Building Consent to dismantle the existing structure, which we understand is expected in September.”