Whitby piers restoration project 'near completion'

Whitby Piers.
Whitby Piers.

A £9 million project to safeguard the long-term future of Whitby’s crumbling piers is nearing completion.

The work, which started in 2018, is being carried out by Balfour Beatty on behalf of Scarborough Council.

The saga over when the repairs would be carried out dragged on for over a decade after a report found ‘major’ flaws in the structure of the North Sea defences.

If the Grade II listed-piers were ever to fail hundreds of homes and businesses could be flooded, causing millions of pounds of damage.

Scarborough Council leader Cllr Steve Siddons (Lab) has given a written update on the project ahead of the authority’s full council meeting on Monday.

He wrote: “The project is near completion with all the foundation repairs successfully undertaken and masonry repairs near completion. The work which will conclude the project is the deflector wall and parapet wall to the West Pier which commences at the beginning of September through to the end of October.”

He added that the replacement East Pier Footbridge has been fabricated and painted and is ready to be lifted in place.

The footbridge which closed in 2001 and the new £300,000 bridge was secured when Whitby Town Council agreed to contribute £6,000 a year for 20 years from its income from toilets in the town to make up a shortfall in the cost.

The footbridge allowed harbour staff easy access to maintain the navigation beacon at the end of the eastern extension. Since it was removed have had to use a boat and ladders to access it.

The new footbridge will be 26m (85ft) in length, with a wooden walkway and steel frame.

The funding for the piers project has come from the Environment Agency, which has given more than £4 million, as well as the European Structural Investment Fund, the Local Enterprise Partnership, North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council.