Birnbeck Image Slider Photo #13


Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Bath Spa University film students visit Birnbeck - 4 April 2019

We were visited today by four undergraduate students from Bath Spa University. Sabrina, Bethany, Amy and Callum are studying on a film and television course there, and conducted a filmed interview about the pier with Peter Lander, the BRT's archivist, as part of their module project about Birnbeck. As usual, and it almost goes without saying now, they all loved the place!

Repairs Notice Repairs Notice Repairs Notice

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

NSC repairs notice to be served on Birnbeck owners - 18/19 March 2019

Both the BBC and ITN have reported that North Somerset Council is preparing to issue a statutory repairs notice to Birnbeck Pier's owners, CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd.

Repairs Notice

In response to this move, a BRT spokesman said: "We welcome the statement from North Somerset Council regarding a repairs notice, we will continue to support both North Somerset Council & Historic England as due process takes its course."

BBC Link

ITN Link

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Birnbeck featured on BBC's One Show - 21 February 2019

The BBC’s One Show broadcast a five-minute feature narrated by Sabet Choudhury about Birnbeck Pier and its history during their Thursday 21 February 2019 programme. The Trust and its volunteers were involved in supporting the filming over a period of a week in mid-2018.

One Show Logo

This was an fantastic opportunity to highlight the pier’s plight to the nation, this being something the Trust has been trying to achieve for the past few years.

We would like to thank Sabet and filmmaker Graham Dixon for working with the Trust to produce and promote the film. It's clearly a very challenging task to save a site like Birnbeck, especially with the added ownership complexities. We are continuing to work with the relevant bodies and are very optimistic about the future of the Birnbeck site. History and heritage have always been at the heart of the UK, especially where our engineering excellence has stood the test of time. Birnbeck was designed by the man known as 'King Pier' - Britain's most prolific pier designer, Eugenius Birch.

Birnbeck Pier is one of a kind. Unique in the world in fact, as it is the only pier that connects the mainland to an island, and has done so for over 150 years.

We at the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust would be delighted to hear from people who would be willing to share their stories and photos of Birnbeck to add to our archive. These we use in the education and history recording elements of our work. We cannot do this on our own and welcome assistance from others who would like to offer support to the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust; perhaps with publicity, financial advice, technical assistance or volunteering at our 'Pier View' information centre next to the pier. Birnbeck does have a future - but only if others want to help save it. Be a part of the project in order to protect the pier’s future for the generations that follow. We thank you for your time and concern for Birnbeck; please follow this link to make contact:


Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Coastal pathway re-opens - 17 November 2018

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust would like to thank the Mayor and the Lady Mayoress of Weston-super-Mare, Councillor Michael Lyall and Mrs Margaret Lyall, for attending the re-opening of the cliffside Spring Cove Coastal Pathway. The Trust similarly thanks Cllr Richard Nightingale and Cllr John Crockford Hawley along with the many members of the public who were also present for the occasion.

Coastal Pathway opening 17-11-18 #1

The Mayor cut a ribbon to open the pathway at its Birkett Road entrance and then led the procession along to its far end on Kewstoke Road, adjacent to the Toll Road and the major entrance to Weston Woods.

The Trust would like to send its sincere appreciation to Tesco's Bags of Help programme, the Groundwork UK green space improvement scheme and the Friends of the Old Pier Society for the grants required to ensure the project could be successfully delivered.

We would like to thank all who have freely given their time and efforts to the project over the past couple of years, Lynch Plant Hire who supplied the machinery with drivers to initially clear the path of overgrowth and debris and in recent months all the volunteers for opening up the site for contractors Weston Fencing, clearing the path of rubbish and preparing for the opening event.

This has been a fantastic achievement for the Trust as our constitution does not solely focus on Birnbeck Pier but all the surrounding area. To this end we have regenerated an area of Birnbeck for members of the public to enjoy for many years to come.

We thank you all for your support.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Birnbeck Pier suffers further damage - 10 October 2018

Railing Damage 10-10-18 #1 Railing Damage 10-10-18 #2

Following a routine visit to Birnbeck Island to photograph the deteriorating condition of the North Jetty landing stage and whilst returning across the low-tide causeway at approximately 16.00 on 10 October 2018 volunteers working for the BRT heard a loud metallic noise eminating from the main pier structure itself. Upon their return to the Trust's base and information centre at Pier View it was observed that a fairly long section of seat-back, railing and an iron flagpole had dropped over the southern edge of the pier but remained aloft in a fairly precarious manner. The Trust's lead Trustees were directly informed, and immediately thereafter CNM Estates Ltd, the pier's owners, Historic England and the Building Control Area Surveyors at North Somerset Council were similarly notified. We expect that NSC officials will attend the site as a matter of some urgency and will further advise the Trust as well as take their own necessary actions. We will update this post in due course.


CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd sent its own contractors to remove the dangerously overhanging seatbacks on Monday 5th November 2018. This work was completed on Wednesday 7th November. A representative from North Somerset Council attended the site at the completion of the work.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Charles McCann receives Community Champion award - 28 April 2018

Charles McCann Award

BRT Chairman (and also Chairman of the Friends of the Old Pier Society) Charles McCann (left) has been rewarded with a Community Champions of Weston Award for his 20 years of dedicated service in striving to save Birnbeck Pier by the Weston Mercury and North Somerset Times. The ceremony was held in the Regency Suite on the Grand Pier on 28 April 2018.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT reiterates its public safety warning - 19 March 2018

In light of further foolhardy and illegal crossings of Birnbeck Pier, most recently last Saturday night by a pair of fishermen which resulted in yet another RNLI and Coastguard call-out, the BRT would like to reiterate its continuing PUBLIC SAFETY WARNING, as already featured via the front page here. The bridge sub-structure is now seriously compromised and there now very little holding up the remaining (apparently) crossable planking.

Danger of Death

Dangerous Structure 01

Dangerous Structure 02

Dangerous Structure 03

Dangerous Structure

Quite plainly, signs that say "Danger of Death" and "Death lies this way!" mean nothing to some people.

They are not there simply for show. A very real, and increasing, danger exists.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT wins Weston Chamber of Commerce Award - 04 February 2018

Towards the end of last year the Trust was nominated for the 'Making a Difference' category in the Weston Chamber of Commerce awards. Last night we won this award and it goes down to the fantastic team we have built of trustees, volunteers, local community and visitors who support the Trust and the Friends in all we do. We have and will continue to make a difference in the work to save Birnbeck Pier.

Chamber of Commerce award 01

Chamber of Commerce award 02

Chamber of Commerce award 03

Thank you from all at Team Birnbeck.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Birnbeck 3D Mapping Project Begins - 19 November 2017

With the help of Historic England a 3D mapping exercise is now underway at Birnbeck. This involves a drone and special mapping software - the intention is eventually produce a fully surveyed map from which dimensional data can be extracted without the need to physically measure the structures etc. The following images were produced on the first test flight - over time additional data will be added to the data base to increase the resolution of the produced images.

Mapping #01

Mapping #02

Mapping #03

Mapping #04

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

UWE architecture students working at Birnbeck again - 6 and 17 November 2017

A second group of University of West of England architecture students are now working with the Trust to develop new ideas for the buildings on Birnbeck Island. A group of 19 students visited the island for field trips on Monday 6 and Friday 17 November 2017 along with two tutors each time, Matt Hynam and Jonathan Mosley on the first visit and Matt and Lucy Barron on the second.

UWE 17-18 #01

UWE 17-18 #02

UWE 17-18 #03

UWE 17-18 #04

UWE 17-18 #05

UWE 17-18 #06

UWE 17-18 #07

The students are studying internal architecture, and will begin the main body of their work in January. We will be kept updated about the progress of this work.

The Trust has also now seen the final portfolios of the first group of UWE students who previously visited Birnbeck between December 2016 and February 2017 (please see the news items below about this). Much of this work is exceptionally good, and we congratulate all of the students for all their hard work. We hope to be able to demonstrate some of this work sometime in the fairly near future.

Also working with the Trust in late 2017 are a group of 5 media students fron Weston Loxton Road Campus. They will be producing a short film about Birnbeck as part of of their own studies, some of them visited the island at the same time as the UWE students.

UWE 17-18 #09

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Prince's Regeneration Trust now assisting BRT - 03 November 2017

Prince's Regeneration Trust Meeting #01

Prince's Regeneration Trust Meeting #02

The Prince's Regeneration Trust & Prince’s Foundation for Building Community's Heritage Director Tiva Montalbano is now working with the Trust to refine its HLF Resilient Heritage application. Tiva held a workshop with BRT trustees and John Ette from Historic England in Weston-super-Mare on 03 November 2017. Attending officers and trustees were Heidi Griffin, Robert Cleland, Peter Lander, Richie Griffin, Charles McCann, Carol Hughes, Lesley McCann, Neil O'Donoghue, Christopher Charlton and Trevor & Rose Barnett. Also present were recently co-opted trustee Simon Talbot-Ponsonby from Clevedon Pier and Andrew Mason, the Trust's technical assistant.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT launches Aviva Community Fund application - 24 October 2017

Aviva Logo

We have applied for a grant from Aviva to provide a community area on the promenade adjacent to Birnbeck Pier. The way they decide who gets the award money is based on votes from the general public. PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW AND VOTE FOR US!

Please see this page for more details on how to vote or use this link to register and vote directly.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT Statement - 10 September 2017

As reported on local social media, official notices have been affixed to the hoardings surrounding the Royal Pier Hotel site. The Trust is aware of this situation, and has no particular comment to make at this time. We would like to point out however that the Royal Pier Hotel site is owned by a company named 'Birnbeck Investments Limited'. Althought CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd have directors who also sit on the board of Birnbeck Investments, the two companies are registered at Companies House as completely separate entities.

RPH Notice

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT and CNM Press Statement - 24 August 2017

For the past two years the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust has been working towards presenting a vision of a sustainable future for Birnbeck Pier and Island to ensure that the site's long and rich heritage is preserved for future generations to enjoy wherever possible.

Progress might seem slow to some, but the fact of the matter is that this is an extremely complicated project, the depths of which are quite easily underestimated. The Trust now has it on good authority that it is some years ahead of where other similar projects have advanced to over a similar given timeframe.

We would like to thank everyone who has supported the project so far, including by donation or by giving their valuable time to help move the project forwards. Without these efforts we would not be even close to presenting our Resilient Heritage application bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If granted, this award will pay for a full-time project manager to be recruited to help deliver the structural surveys and feasibility studies necessary to advance further and larger awards, along with overseeing and making provision for in-house training for the Trust's trustees and volunteers on how to support a complex project such as this. The money which has been raised for these surveys and studies has been set aside ('ring-fenced') for these purposes, the Trust currently has £24,700 (61.8% of its target) available to it, this figure is periodically updated on this website by means of a funding goal thermometer as seen on the Fundraising page.

To give us the best chances of success we have taken guidance from many key outside bodies. These include the Heritage Lottery Fund itself, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Historic England, North Somerset Council, the Dreamland Trust, the Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier, Clevedon Pier, Brighton Pier, Eastbourne Pier, Hastings Pier and Jess Steele MBE of Jericho Road Solutions, who was the prime orchestrator for Hastings Pier's own successful Heritage Lottery Fund award. We similarly thank all the above for helping to ensure that the Trust is moving forwards in the right direction and for making sure that it does not struggle to overcome problematic issues which other related projects have successfully managed.

The pier's owners, CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd, remain confident that the Trust's activities represent the best future prospects for Birnbeck at this present time.

CNM Estates and the Trust have jointly and very recently reiterated their agreement on the following four points:

1/. Both CNM and the Trust welcome constructive suggestions and business-like dialogue with any groups who have ideas which might help with the regeneration of Birnbeck.

2/. CNM have agreed for the Trust to lead the Heritage Lottery Fund effort and acknowledge that the Trust is making good progress in this area.

3/. CNM and the Trust will continue to work collaboratively together and will seek to improve further on this good working relationship.

4/. CNM and the Trust both recognise that this unique site could become something very special in the future - and that no effort should be spared to develop the best possible proposals to ensure that Birnbeck has a financially viable future.
The Trust is now, in addition to the above, seeking to bring together other community groups, educational and businesses interests and individuals with key skills to strengthen the network of support that this project presently enjoys.

If anyone has any further questions beyond those listed on our Frequently Asked Questions page please post them to our Facebook community page or send them to us directly via our Contact page. A member of the team will respond as soon as they can - we endeavour to be as transparent as possible in all our affairs - the only exception to this is a small amount of 'commercially sensitive' information which we have been asked not to disclose by some of the other interested parties. We can also arranged private verbal briefings in certain circumstances.

The Trust's most important 'mission' remains to strive to save Birnbeck Pier so that it can eventually be re-opened once again for all to enjoy. Success with the Resilient Heritage application is the next major milepost on this journey.

(N.B. The use of the funding thermometer was discontinued in the summer of 2018.)

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Joint BRT and NSC Press Statement - 01 June 2017

Representatives from North Somerset Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust met on May 5th 2017 to discuss the future of the unique Birnbeck Pier site.

All parties present were in complete agreement that urgent joint action needs to be taken to develop a simple and sustainable way forward to save this major heritage asset.

Having the support of the Council is extremely important from the Trust's perspective as it develops new proposals to secure Heritage Lottery funding.

The Trust acknowledges that without this funding the future for the Birnbeck site is bleak.

The BRT's trustees also acknowledge that Historic England's expertise and the guidance given by them is the major facilitator in enabling all the concerned parties to come together, making this a major step forward in their endeavours to save the Birnbeck site.

The BRT looks forward to working with all the above bodies to bring the proposed project to a successful conclusion.

The Chairman of the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, Charles McCann, said, “The outcome of this meeting has given the Trust encouragement to continue to work with all parties concerned in bringing this project to a successful conclusion for the future generations of local residents and visitors to Weston-super-Mare”.

David Carter, Director of Development and Environment at North Somerset Council, said: “Birnbeck is an important site and we are very supportive of the Trust’s commitment to saving it for the benefit of current and future generations.”

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT Trustees visit Clevedon Pier - 04 April 2017

This was the first of what we hope will be many collaborative meetings with the fantastic Clevedon Pier team. They have offered us the opportunity to share in their knowledge and gain key understandings as well as to learn about some of the pit falls when it comes to restoring and regenerating a 19th century Victorian pier. This first meeting has already been a valuable lesson towards our ultimate aim of saving Birnbeck. Our immense thanks go to their team for going out of their way to accommodate us for the evening and to show us around their heritage centre and shop, and to escort us on a walk along their pier & down into the Porthole Room. This is a fabulous new complex which hugely compliments the surrounding area, we would highly recommend a visit.

Please visit their website here for more details about Clevedon Pier.

Clevedon Visit April 2017 #01

Clevedon Visit April 2017 #02

Clevedon Visit April 2017 #03

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Hastings Pier Chief Engineer visits Birnbeck - 11/12 February 2017

The BRT had the pleasure of welcoming Hastings Pier Chief Engineer Peter Wheeler and his small entourage at the weekend. Also in attendence on Saturday were a small group of Masters of Architecture students from UWE Bristol's School of Architecture on their second visit to the island, in furtherance of their studies concerning the regeneration of Birnbeck (please see below).

Pier View Re-opening 2017 #01

Pier View Re-opening 2017 #02

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Pier View re-opens - 4 Feb 2017

Pier View is now open again at weekends following the recent refurbishment efforts by the 'Team Birnbeck' volunteers there. Tea and coffee, as well as soft drinks, are always available. Please come and visit sometime soon!

Pier View Re-opening 2017 #01

Pier View Re-opening 2017 #02

Pier View Re-opening 2017 #03

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

North Jetty works discussed - 31 January 2017

Various face-to-face discussions took place today between CNM, NSC, the contractors concerned and representatives of the Trust about the access route for getting heavy machinery to the island. The talks were quite amicable with the urgency of the necessary works and the future of Birnbeck Island being stressed - production of further paperwork is now expected.

Also on the agenda was the matter of the extension of the 'England Coast Path' which recently reached the south side of Brean Down, extending towards Weston from Minehead. NSC confirmed that their intention is to bring the path past Birnbeck by 2020. This may prove to have a significant bearing on the future regeneration of the upper Birkett Road area leading towards Weston Woods and the Toll Road to Kewstoke. More discussions about this will be taking place in due course.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

North Jetty progress stalls

As reported widely by the BBC and ITV as well as the Weston Mercury, work to create an accessway to allow machine access to Birnbeck Island has been halted. The Trustees of the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust will fully discuss this matter at their next scheduled monthly meeting.

Please see this page for more details.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Preparation work for the demolition of the North Jetty walkway begins -

January 5th 2017

As has been seen on social media and on the Weston Mercury website today CNM Estate's contractors have started work to create a way to get heavy machinery down from the Toll Road to the low-tide causeway in preparation for the removal of the North Jetty walkway. This demolition is necessary to satisfy the Section 77 Dangerous Building notice issued by North Somerset Council and the associated planning approval which was granted on September 14th 2016.

CNM Estates has informed the Trust that the work to build the track/pathway down to the shoreline will happen over the next 5 days, and then over the period of the next set of suitable tides the removal the North Jetty walkway will take place to make the area safe from risk of further falling metalwork or other debris.

It must be noted the North Jetty's landing stage will not be touched and will remain to be potentially part of any future regeneration of the site.

Any questions on the detail of the demolition works should be directed to CNM Estates or North Somerset Council.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

The Foundation of the Weston-super-Mare Heritage Action Zone

It was recently reported in the Weston Mercury that North Somerset Council (NSC) has made an application for a £500k grant from Historic England to help preserve historic buildings in Weston. As the Mercury records, a spokesman for NSC stated: "The Heritage Action Zone does not include Birnbeck Pier, as this is very much a complete programme all to itself due to all the separate issues including the sheer scale, complexity and timescales involved."

We are led to understand that none of this grant will be awarded to the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust for two primary reasons:

1. Birnbeck Pier is at present privately owned.

2. The current owners are debtors to NSC in relation to their nearby Royal Pier Hotel site.

The Trust accepts these reasons but believes it will be interesting to note which other buildings or sites in Weston are decreed to be of historic interest by NSC.

Also, whether any of the buildings or sites are in private ownership, and if that is the case, who are their owners?

This application bid will not distract the Trust in continuing with its efforts to save the pier and bringing the project to an eventual and successful conclusion for the benifit of the residents and visitors to Weston alike.

After recent communications with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) we have now been advised to apply for a 'Resilient Heritage Award'.

This is a relatively new funding process, and such an award would allow the Trust to do a large majority of the preparatory work required to advance this major project to complete the restoration of the pier.

If the Trust is to be successful with this application, we will need NSC to be a fully committed working partner in this bid.

The information required to apply for this award has been submitted to NSC, and we are presently awaiting their decision so that we can jointly progress the application for this grant.

If the team at the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust and NSC are successful with its grant application, it will allow the project to secure a full-time team to develop plans for the future of the site by:

a) completely understanding its current state

b) defining what would be required to restore its structures and buildings with cost estimates and proposals for wider options covering the entire site

We can then produce a complete heritage restoration bid package for submission to the HLF and other major grant providers to bring this project to a successful conclusion.

With the structures deteriorating on a practically daily basis, and with some nearing further collapse as is the case of the North Jetty, we hope we can now expediently secure this award and continue the journey to saving our valued and most important Grade II* listed structure.

It is now imperative that NSC show that they are fully committed to being part of the team that is endeavouring to save Birnbeck for the residents of Weston-super-Mare, its visitors and the nation alike.

Team Birnbeck - December 2016

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust Christmas Raffle raises over £500

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust Christmas Raffle, with its £150 first prize amongst its many other prizes, raised just over £500. The draw took place at Pier View on 17 December 2016. The Trust would like to thank everyone who bought tickets, and congratulates the winners!

Christmas Raffle 2016

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

The University of the West of England School of Architecture to develop Birnbeck proposals

On Thursday December 1st 2016 a group of 14 Masters of Architecture students from UWE Bristol's School of Architecture visited Birnbeck Island accompanied by Architect and Graduate Tutor Matthew Hynam and three Team Birnbeck guides.

From their press statement:

"Masters of Architecture students from the University of the West of England have been tasked with developing ideas for how Birnbeck Pier and island might be developed for the 21st century. The project which is in collaboration with the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust starts with a theoretical project where students will explore how the pier and island might be linked to the wider context of Birnbeck and Weston through a brief to develop a new attraction on the island such as a prospective Institute of Contemporary Film for example."

Please see this page for more details.

UWE Field Trip

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Survey work on the North Jetty takes place

As part of the process of creating a lasting photographic, written and drawn record of the structure of the North Jetty to be carried out in accordance with Historic England’s Building Recording level 4, laser scanning surveying of the North Jetty took place on Tuesday and Wednesday November 29th and 30th 2016 - please see this page for more details.

ABS Survey

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

BRT contracts for HLF coaching support

Jess Steele OBE of Jericho Road Solutions, who specialise in helping community organisations to take on challenging projects, will be providing coaching support to the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust. Jess played a key role in the delivery of the Hastings Pier project and has supported other piers including Colwyn Bay and Bognor.

Jericho Road

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Birnbeck Webcam Wins Award

On 4 October 2016 the Trust was notified that Earthcam.Com had chosen the Birnbeck webcam as one of its weekly Top 10 Cams, based on quality of image, uniqueness of content and overall technical achievements in webcam technology.

EarthCam Top 10 Winner

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

North Somerset Council Lease Agreed

North Somerset Council's Corporate Services Directorate has agreed a 99 lease with the Trust on the small retail outlet adjacent to Pier View. Please see this page for more details.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

North Somerset Council Meeting

BRT Chairman Charles McCann, Project Manager Richard Griffin and Business Manager Neil O'Donoghue attended a meeting with NSC members on Monday 26 September 2016 to present the Trust's position.

The following is a draft of a text submitted to the Council for possible inclusion in its own business newsletter:

Birnbeck Pier is a magnificent Victorian structure jutting out into the sea at the northern end of Weston-super-Mare’s coastal promenade. She has been neglected for many years now, and her condition is rapidly deteriorating. Many people have previously proposed grand designs for modern renewal at Birnbeck, but these have always been overambitious and largely impractical.

It’s now time for the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, a registered charitable organisation, to get the public and the business community behind it and support its efforts to save Birnbeck.

The Trust intends, by means of either a long-term lease or direct ownership, to apply for grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Coastal Community Fund. It seeks to build a sustainable not-for-profit business structure aimed at regenerating the site to bring back into use this grand and in many ways unique 19th century attraction, allowing both the local community and visitors to Weston to enjoy the complex for many future generations to come.

The Trust have for the past 16 months been working with various stakeholders including the owners CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd, North Somerset Council, Historic England, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Architectural Heritage Fund and other grant bodies to gain support whilst itself fundraising through organised social events held at the pier and in local event spaces such as the 49 Club, the Imperial Bar and the Tropicana. These funds are initially needed to deliver the structural surveys and feasibility studies which are required as prerequisites to underpin future major grant applications in order that cost estimates, programme delivery and long-term sustainability can be assured.

To date £19,000 has been raised towards the studies with a further £21,000 + VAT being required to deliver this preliminary package. The overall cost of the project to fully regenerate the site is presently estimated at being in the region of £16.2m. This sum will be needed to regenerate the mainland buildings to focus on the national heritage significance of the site, restore the main bridge to the island, the North Jetty and the buildings on the island, this final element focusing on the renovation of the two main pavilion buildings to provide an education centre and an arts and entertainment attraction whilst maintaining the existing historic design aspects throughout.

This project will not only require the support of the major grant bodies. It will be essential for the Trust to gain significant support from the public and both outside and partnership businesses to generate the necessary HLF ‘match funding’, which could be a significant proportion of the overall cost.

The Trust have established many ways for donations to be made and received to help save Birnbeck Pier, all which can be found on our website

Helping the Trust to save Weston’s first and original pier will create construction jobs through the redevelopment phase, and operation and maintenance employment throughout the lifetime of the venue. A regenerated Birnbeck will in turn encourage more tourists to the North Somerset area bringing both day-trippers and short and long stay visitors, all of which will bring future sustainability to the pier and also help with the growth of the local economy.

For more information please contact our secretary - a member of our team will then contact you to answer any questions you may have.

We hope you will join with Team Birnbeck to support saving Weston’s historic architecture for both present and future generations to appreciate anew.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Pier View Renovation - Summer 2016

The renovation of the exterior of Pier View is now approximately 75% completed. Rotten timber and panelling has been replaced wherever necessary and the process of repainting using coats of high quality primer, undercoat and gloss is well underway. This work has been largely funded by the Friends of the Old Pier Society. The pier's owners, CNM Estates, assisted the efforts by providing the Trust with a brand new tower scaffold assembly. Especial thanks go to volunteers Terry Hutt, Keith Barraclough and Dean Mills for their continuing efforts and dedication to the task. Both the Friends and the Trust will be continuing to use the building as their Information Centre on a rent-free basis.

Pier View Renovation #01

Pier View Renovation #02

Pier View Renovation #03

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

The proposed demolition of the North Jetty walkway

On 14 September 2016 North Somerset Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee voted to approve CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd's planning application to partially demolish Birnbeck Pier's North Jetty, due to its poor condition and the associated public safety risk. This application concerns the walkway and five pairs of supporting trestle legs, and not the off-island landing stage. Please see this page for further details.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust News

Tesco Award - May 2016

In May 2016 the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust was locally selected as the winning entry for a £12,000 award from the Tesco 'Bags of Help' programme in conjunction with the Groundwork UK green space improvement scheme. We thank everyone who voted for us! Please see our Tesco page for further details.

Tesco Bags of Help

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust


8 February 2016

Members of the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust and the Friends of the Old Pier Society met with the directors and leading staff of CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd on Friday 5 February 2016 at the London offices of architects Darling Associates. All the participants engaged in a ‘design workshop’, which was conducted in order to review both old and new ideas relating to the regeneration of the Birnbeck Pier and Island complex.

A number of wide-ranging concepts were considered at the meeting. The Trust’s key aim has always been to ensure that the historic heritage of the pier is maintained into the future, this remained the Trust’s position throughout the discussions. Other matters discussed included the provision of car parking near the pier, and possible changes to the layout of Birkett road.

As is now generally realised, the refurbishment of Birnbeck will be a multi-million pound project. Any grants awarded by public bodies will need to be ‘match-funded’, this means that the Trust will be required to raise a further proportional amount through its own independent fundraising efforts. Some of the designs discussed encompassed not only the renovation the pier complex as a landmark attraction, but also considered further developing the complete Birnbeck site. The reasoning for this is so that a considerable sum of money could be donated from the development towards the fundraising efforts for the project, and then onwards throughout its lifespan, to provide an essential future maintenance fund for the pier.

In the near future CNM Estates will release concept designs for public viewing and consultation as part of the ongoing process.

The North Jetty was also discussed as a matter of priority because of recent storm damage. Proposals for remedial action and cost estimates have been produced in order to make it safe. The timing and scope of this work will be discussed with North Somerset Council and Historic England (due to its listed status) during the week commencing February 8th.

The Trust still needs to advance its own fundraising efforts and with support from CNM Estates will continue to progress the various studies and surveys presently underway as a requirement of its primary Heritage Lottery Fund application. As well as this, it wishes to continue with the refurbishment of the Birnbeck landside buildings, which it needs as a base for its continuing operation.

Please visit our website for ways to donate, or text BBRT15 £5 to 70700 (Note: the amount is your choice). Thank you.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust

The BRT/CNM Estates public consultation exercise

20 August 2015

Public Meeting with CNM Estates (20 August 2015)

The following is a transcript of the public question and answer session that took place between the Directors of CNM Estates and others including Birnbeck Regeneration Trust Trustees at Pier View on Thursday 20th August 2015. Please click here to read the transcript.

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust


7 August 2015

(N.B. Parts of the following were screened as a Powerpoint presentation)


Safety Moment - Building Safety
Key Personnel
History of the Site and Trust
Site Ownership
Progress with site owner
What if nothing is done?
State of the Pier 2015
Heritage Lottery Fund
Our proposal
What if nothing is done? (recap)
Outcomes and Conclusion
Any Questions?


(Panel present - Christopher Charlton - Trustee; Charles McCann - Chairman; Richie Griffin - Delivery Manager; Richard Nightingale - Local Council Representative; Mike Dolley - CNM Estates Representative; Neil O'Donoghue - Business Support; Stage management - Shane Burney.)

Key Personnel



1862 - Weston-super-Mare Pier Act. The Weston-super-Mare Pier Company was then founded.
1867 (June 5th) - Birnbeck Pier was opened
1885 - The switchback railway was commissioned
1907 - The zigzag slide was commissioned
1941 - The pier was used by the Admiralty during the war as a weapons development site as 'H.M.S.Birnbeck'
1979 - The last steamer ran
1994 - The pier is closed due to weather damage
1996 - The pier is bought by White Horse Ferries
1996 - The Friends of the Old Pier Society is formed

History of the Trust (I)

2002 - North Somerset Council hold a meeting with several interested parties to discuss their views on the commercial redevelopment of the of the Hillside Ward of Weston (the wider Birnbeck area).
2004 - The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust was formed and attempted to gain control from the owners.
2007 - The then owners sold the pier to Urban Splash. The Trust then became dormant.
2010 - NSC working with Urban Splash launched an international design competition and supporting viability studies to refurbish and redevelop Birnbeck Island.

A short list of six options was consulted on and displayed in the Winter Gardens, and based on feedback and further amendments a winning scheme selected.

Due to the economic recession and the huge upfront investment required, the Urban Splash scheme was mothballed.

History of the Trust (II)

2012 - these efforts to find away forward ceased when once again the pier was reportedly sold to new owners, CMN Estates.
2014 (15th August) - CNM Estates made an presentational attempt to demonstrate what a 300,000sq ft scheme could look like but for various reason this did not resonate well with NSC, Weston Town Council or the general public.
2014 (October) - CMN Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd formally became the new owners of the pier.

The conclusion since 2004 remains clear that without millions of pounds of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund [or other public sources] substantial private development of about 300,000 sq ft would be required to meet all the refurbishment costs.

Since 2012 CNM have been trying to find a solution on how to deliver the refurbishment of the pier.

History of the Trust (III)

Early 2015 - Following a popular Facebook campaign interest in Birnbeck Pier was revived, and as a result of an initiative by the Friends of the Old Pier Society the Trust was reformed.

2015 to the present - due to lack of any other initiatives to save the pier the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust has worked to develop a Preliminary Business Plan for the future redevelopment of the pier and are in search of funding and awards to regenerate to its former glory.

Funding conditions from the Heritage Lottery Fund will require the BRT to have a long lease on the pier.

Site Ownership

The pier is owned by CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Ltd, and has been since October 2014.

The RNLI own the 1902 Lifeboat House complete with Slipway with right of access.

The Trust's first meeting held with CNM Estates was on the 19 June 2015.

We are now working with the owners to negotiate a long term proposal which will meet the requirements of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The owners and ourselves are working together to agree key performance milestones which will need to be met. However, in the first instance we need to agree the terms.

Whilst the negotiations between CNM and BRT are on going, both parties have agreed to keep them confidential in order to build on the good will that has now been established.

Site Ownership (II)

(Screened map)

Progress with the Site Owner

Work to date with CNM Estates:

- Agreed to work with the Trust to ensure a sustainable future for Birnbeck Pier and its environs.

- Provided a local representative to meet regularly with the Trust.

- Paid for the electrical refurbishment of Pier View.

- Agreed a provisional sum to undertake general refurbishment of Pier View.

- Financially supporting the Feasibility Study and Structural Survey.

- Provided their team support to develop the proposals to external agencies.

- Agreed in principle to provide the Trust a 25 year rolling lease of the pier subject to funding and NSC planning, terms to be agreed.

- Agreed to allow the Trust to access the pier to conduct surveys, clearing of the site and minor works.

The state of pier is not the fault of the current owners but due to cumulative neglect since the Second World War.

The project will be a success with everyone's combined support.

What if nothing is done

If the owner cannot do anything with Birnbeck Pier it will fall into the sea; nobody wants that to happen!

North Somerset Council and Central Government will be left with an ecological clean up costing taxpayers an unknown sum!!

The pier will be gone forever we have this last chance to save this unique historical

State of the Pier 2015

(Screened video)

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Trust has had a long history of contact with the HLF, this favorable relationship continued at the latest meeting held with the Head of the South West HLF on the 2 July 2015.

We have accepted their advice and split the project into 4 major phases.

Our first goal will be to undertake a feasibility study with a full structural survey costing between £80-£100k. These surveys will be required to underpin each of the 4 phases. Part of the funding will be provided by CNM Estates, the remainder however will be need to be raised by public donations.

A major fundraising effort is required immediately as the Trust must raise a contribution towards the total site refurbishment costs which the HLF suggested a minimum of 10%

The Trust will continue to meet with stake holders including NSC, CNM Estates, HLF, Historic England, RNLI, English Nature, Crown Estates, various local and national politicians and interested parties to bring this project to a successful conclusion.

The Proposal (I)

The project will look to maintain the heritage and history of the pier no ideas are firm we are still in the consultation and concept phase.

A workshop is planned bringing together main teams to ensure what is provided is, in line with heritage needs, cost effective, helps with commercial growth locally and sustainable for the future.

Listed Features to maintain:

Birnbeck Pier – Grade II*
Entrance Gates and Turnstile – Grade II
North Jetty – Grade II
Lifeboat House and Slipway – Grade II
Clock Tower – Grade II


The Proposal (II)

The project will be split into 4 main phases with a separate bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for each phase, this allows us to apply 4 times a year should it be needed.

Stage 1 – Mainland and Bridge Refurbishment
Stage 2 – Buildings on the Island Reconstruction
Stage 3 – Visitor Attractions for the Island
Stage 4 – Future Improvements

The Proposal (III)

First stages:

A feasibility study and structural survey are required to underpin the ideas chosen for the pier to ensure the cost and programme to deliver the project are accurate with financial risks properly assessed prior to any bid for Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Where Can You Support

Volunteers are needed to help with the following:

- Support at Pier View Information Centre.
- General Site Management.
- Minor works to Pier View, Pier Masters Cottage and the Clock Tower.
- Helping with applying for donations and financial support from smaller bodies to help maintain progress whilst the larger bids are being presented by the team of trustees.
- Project support in developing the proposal to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- General fund raising activities.

Also needed are local businesses who can donate building materials, scaffolding, expertise etc to help with the minor works.


The regeneration project costing is currently assessed to be in excess of £21 million.

We will be requesting in the region of £15 - £17 million from the HLF spread over the 4 packages.

Major fundraising is required and the efforts of the Friends of the Old Pier Society keeps the Trust moving forward but these efforts alone will not fund the major project initiative.

Our initial objective is to raise between £80-£100k by local fundraising which will support the feasibility study and structural survey to underpin cost, programme and sustainability for the 4 applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Major Fundraising Ideas:

- General grants and awards applications
- Corporate sponsorship
- Donations
- Internet shop
- Society Lottery
- Buy a piece of pier history
- Sponsor a plank by donating to acquire a plaque
- Music and comedy festivals
- Dining nights
- Share scheme
- Fishing packages
- Gift Aid – 25% on every £ raised

These are some schemes in the process of being organised, your ideas are needed - please let us know where else you can support us.

What if nothing is done (recap)

If the owner cannot do anything with Birnbeck Pier it will fall into the sea; nobody wants this to happen!

North Somerset Council and Central Government will be left with an ecological clean up costing taxpayers an unknown sum!!

The pier will be gone forever - we have this last chance to save this unique historical landmark!

Outcomes and Conclusions

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, North Somerset Council and CNM Estates are working constructively to secure the pier's future.

The project will secure a major item of heritage from decay, demolition and prevent what could be an environmental disaster.

The project will regenerate the local area encouraging commercial growth.

The project will be long term and sustainable once completed.

The project will be 'not for profit' - this means that any profit will be driven directly back into further improvements to the pier and the Birnbeck area.

The project will provide training in heritage skills and jobs throughout the delivery period and into the future.

Without YOUR support this project will not be a success.

Any Questions?

(Audience participation to end.)

(Link to images)

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust

Public Statement - 11 July 2015

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust last night held an internal briefing session to update its own team about the progress made during its recent talks with the major interested parties concerning the future of Birnbeck Pier and Island.

It is now confirmed that an open public meeting will be held at the Boulevard United Reformed Church, Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare (opposite the Weston Mercury office) on 7 August 2015. The event will start at 6.30 PM.

This meeting is being organised with the primary intention of better informing the wider local community about the Trust's work and ambitions, as well as to offer an appraisal of the latest developments concerning the pier and island's future prospects. A comprehensive presentation will form the major part of the agenda for the evening's proceedings.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Refreshments will also be available.

Richie Griffin

Project Manager

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust

Public Statement - 04 July 2015

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust has now completed its first round of talks with interested parties concerning the future of Birnbeck Pier and Island.

The first of these discussions was with John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare, on June 9. Following the meeting Mr Penrose spoke to the Weston Mercury, and said, "The crucial thing everyone wants is to secure a sustainable future for the pier, and I am happy to help in any way I can."

The second meeting was with the pier's owners, CNM Estates (Birnbeck) Limited, on June 19. This meeting was extremely productive, and a broad commitment to work together for the sake of the pier’s future was made by both sides involved in the talks. It was also agreed that regular future meetings will take place.

The third meeting was held with the lead South-West representative from the Heritage Lottery Fund on July 2. This meeting also went extremely well. The Trust is now much better informed about the Lottery application process, and will now be taking further professional advice with regards to future fund-raising efforts and the overall feasibility of the entire project.

The Trust now intends to hold an full internal meeting to inform and update its own team about the progress to date on July 10.

Following on from this, an open public meeting will take place in Weston-super-Mare on August 7, at a venue yet to be announced. A comprehensive statement will be made at this event about the present and ongoing situation regarding the pier's future.

Richie Griffin

Project Manager

Birnbeck Regeneration Trust

Public Statement - 15 May 2015

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust (Registered Charity No. 1103012) has recently experienced a period of revival, with an influx of new and interested volunteers working both with itself and for its sister organisation, the Friends of the Old Pier Society.

Together in partnership with North Somerset Council, these bodies will endeavour to deliver a sustainable plan which will ensure the future of Birnbeck Pier and the surrounding local area. The Trust now plans to enter into negotiations with CMN Estates, the current owners of Birnbeck Pier and Island, to see whether or not it would be possible to find an agreed solution that would be acceptable to all the concerned parties.

If, as is hoped for, the Trust is able to gain ownership of the Birnbeck complex, then £20million will be requested from various bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund, which would be used to regenerate the pier by returning it to its glory of the early 1900’s. This would not only ensure that the pier survives for future generations to enjoy, but would also provide much needed jobs to the local area.

Both the Trust and the Friends are under the long-term chairmanship of Mr Charles McCann. He and the two committees he oversees lead the combined team of volunteers, who are now planning to expand their fundraising activities. It is likely that the project will require the Trust to raise in excess of £3million to advance and support any outside financial backing. This fairly massive effort will need everyone who supports the restoration of the pier to assist in any way possible.

A project application has now been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is currently being reviewed. If this measure is successful, the Trust will move on to produce a stage 1 HLF funding application, where a feasibility study will be undertaken to ensure the project is viable and sustainable for the future.

More information will be posted as soon as meetings have been arranged and held with all the concerned stakeholders, these should take place in the very near future.

Richie Griffin

Project Manager

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