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Hastings pier has looked a sorry sight since the arson attack on it in 2010. Fresh hope has now arisen for its regeneration after it was announced last week that a trust has been granted £11.4 million of Heritage Lottery funding to restore it.

The pier was the heart of the resort before the arson attack, drawing in families, couples and groups of friends who stayed in nearby holiday cottages in Sussex. Once known as “the peerless pier”, the Grade II listed structure was designed by Eugenius Birch who was at the forefront of Victorian pier architecture. Proving hugely successful with its dance hall, fun fair, bowling alley, rifle range and cafes, it also drew in huge musical stars such as Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and the Who.

The Heritage Lottery funding has been awarded to the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust who aim to have completed the regeneration work by late 2014. The only surviving original building, the Western Pavilion, will be kept as a restaurant, bar and visitor centre.