Ahuge Thank You to all of you, your support has helped us to get to this point, you and 500 other people have helped us raise the money needed to buy Shotley Pier, and we completed the purchase this morning.
Volunteers gathered at the Pier this morning when BBC Look East came to film the moment when ownership passed to the Charitable Community Benefit Society. If you miss it on the news today, we will put it on YouTube later.
We hope to be featured in the East Anglian Daily Times on Wednesday, BBC Radio Suffolk has already interviewed our Chairman, John Davitt, and various other publications will be covering the story int he coming weeks. InTouch magazine, which is delivered all over Suffolk, is featuring our story in their next issue.
To recap on why the purchase was delayed ... our conveyancing solicitor discovered that the hammerhead section of the pier was actually not part of the title and needed to be separately purchased from the Crown Estate. This was complicated, not least because the Crown Estate doesn't usually sell freehold title - only long leases. An exception was made due to the charitable status of the pier group and a limiting covenant was agreed to ensure the purpose remains charitable. The Board had undertaken to investors that the purchase of the main part of the pier would be completed at the same time because the pier is intended to be a working pier rather than solely leisure use.
More than 500 people have now invested, and the Group is re-launching the community share offer to "Renovate the Pier". The smallest purchase of one share for £25 has ensured that people from all walks of life could become members of the society and therefore part owners of the pier.
The Group is now seeking more volunteers and grants to get started on the complete renovation of the pier which is expected to take about five years. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved or would like to contribute to the renovation fund by donating or buying community shares.
Don't forget the Red Lion Coffee Morning on 1 March - details in the diary.
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