Hastings Pier is a Grade II listed Victorian structure that marks the seafront boundary between Hastings and St Leonards on England's south coast. Designed by Eugenius Birch and opened in 1872, it was modelled on Brighton West Pier, with the addition of a pavilion, which had been enlarged in the intervening years.
In 2006, Hastings Borough Council served an improvement notice on the pavilion's owners over concerns for public safety. Our engineers undertook a full structural inspection of the pier on behalf of the council, in parallel with a heritage evaluation by our archaeologist, to provide guidance on repair options.The pier is 275m long and varies in width from 31m to 68m. Cast iron columns and piles support trusses below timber decking. On the deck was a theatre, a ballroom, a bingo hall, restaurants, and small shops and outlets.
A detailed visual inspection of columns, piles and trusses was achieved by using a boat and diver in addition to survey work done from the beach. The super- and substructure were fully assessed and an appraisal submitted in the form of a public report. Detailed repair options estimated that a complete restoration programme would cost £6.5m. The pier closed completely in 2008.
In October 2010, fire destroyed 95% of the superstructure and our engineers were asked to assess the damage on behalf of the council. With public safety an immediate concern, a list of actions and a programme of priorities was drawn up to resolve the main issues. Although the superstructure was all but destroyed, no significant further damage was sustained by the main substructure.
Thanks to a group of local people and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the £16m renovation of the much loved Hastings Pier was completed and the pier hosted its first major event with a grand gala opening on Saturday 21st May 2016. Ramboll played a key role in the restoration and regeneration of Hastings Pier, offering strategic advice to both the Pier Trust and Hastings Borough Council.