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Project pledging to breathe new life into Shotley pier given backing from Suffolk MP

Supporters of the bid for Shotley Pier campaign. From left: Sally Chicken, chairman of Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society, Ltd, Gary Richen, James Cartlidge MP, and Derek Davis, Babergh councillor. Picture: Ruth Leach

Supporters of the bid for Shotley Pier campaign. From left: Sally Chicken, chairman of Shotley Heritage Community Benefit Society, Ltd, Gary Richen, James Cartlidge MP, and Derek Davis, Babergh councillor. Picture: Ruth Leach

A community project pledging to restore the maritime heritage of Shotley has been hailed as "brilliant" by a Suffolk MP.

Community Group formed to buy and restore the 122 year old Shotley Pier. Company Director, Sally Chicken, Chair of Shotley Heritage Group, Councillor Derek Davis with members of the group.Community Group formed to buy and restore the 122 year old Shotley Pier. Company Director, Sally Chicken, Chair of Shotley Heritage Group, Councillor Derek Davis with members of the group.

James Cartlidge, South Suffolk MP, joined villagers for a tour of the 122-year-old pier which will soon be given new life thanks to a five-figure funding boost.

Built by the Marquis of Bristol for the ferry between Shotley Gate and Harwich, the pier has been used to transport munitions and take sailors from the HMS Ganges training ship.

Plans for its future include kiosks, fishing opportunities and a walkway, which will be restored in Victorian style, looking out over the river Stour.

Such a renovation will be made possible by the Co-op’s Power to Change Community Share Booster Programme, through which a charitable trust has pledged to match fund the Shotley Pier Group up to £100,000 in donated cash.

It is hoped that if the bid is successful Shotley pier will be repaired and opened to the public who can enjoy walking along it, fishing, launching kayaks and mooring boats alongside. Picture: Ruth LeachIt is hoped that if the bid is successful Shotley pier will be repaired and opened to the public who can enjoy walking along it, fishing, launching kayaks and mooring boats alongside. Picture: Ruth Leach

Mr Cartlidge was invited for a boat trip around the pier today.

He said: “What is brilliant about it is that the money will be split into two halves, half will be raised locally by the people who are passionate to save it and the other half by a charity.

“It is great to see a community restoring the maritime heritage of a place which is defined by its maritime heritage.

“At the moment the pier looks dilapidated and you can see it needs renovating. It is a beautiful piece of history and this project definitely has my backing. I’ve been really impressed by the efforts of the group and everyone here today and look forward to seeing the end result.”

Under the funding scheme, people are invited to buy shares at £25 each which will be held by Co-operatives UK.

For every community share sold, the pier group receives double the amount.

Fellow supporter Derek Davis, of Babergh District Council, said he was pleased Mr Cartlidge came along for the boat trip.

After the outing came to an end, the group had lunch with the MP in the Bristol Arms opposite the pier.

“It was a good day despite the weather,” said Mr Davis.

“James has been able to see the pier from the river which is something people don’t often to get to do.

“He was very supportive and I hope he found the day interesting. We hope to launch the community shares official prospectus very soon but people wanting to own part of the pier can put a pledge on our website.”

Visit www.shotleypier.co.uk to make a pledge.

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