A Gofundme page has been set up to help raise money for repairs to the Prince of Wales Pier in Polperro.
The Prince of Wales Pier in Polperro was originally constructed in 1860 – it forms part of the Polperro conservation area and is a listed building.
The pier lies as the outermost part of the harbour, taking the full force of storms and high tides. Recently, the seaward facing part of the pier which was renovated back in the 1990’s has broken off and is now in need of repairs. It is said that there is also a bulge in the wall adjacent to a South West Water manhole.
The Gofundme page, which has been set up by the Polperro Harbour Trust, page states: “The trustees engaged a civil engineer who has extensive experience in marine structures. His advice is that major repairs are needed. The structure requires considerable reinforcement and concrete facing to the seaward walls. We have progressed this to the design and costings phase. The cost estimate is £900,000 to £1-million. It’s expensive because of the need to work between tides and the cost of getting materials to the site.
“The trust doesn’t get any public funding. Our revenue comes from mooring fees, rents, donation boxes and levies on fish landed. We can cover our operational costs, but we don’t have reserves to fund these types of capital projects.
“We have approached the Environment Agency (EA) and SWW with requests for funding. Both have responded to us but to date have not committed any funds. We have contacted Sheryll Murray MP for support, and she has been helpful as have Cornwall County Council and Polperro Community Council.
“Given the current economic climate, it feels like we have a challenge to raise the money for the work. We will continue to talk with the various agencies about funding and have started to explore other options like this go fund me page. Meantime the structural engineer has put in place a system to monitor the condition of the pier.”
The MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray, has offered her support by working to find solutions.
Ms Murray explained: “I have been working with Councillors Jane Pascoe and Armand Toms to try to find solutions with regard to the funding for repairs to the Prince of Wales Pier. I have corresponded with a number of agencies including The Marine Management Organisation, The Environment Agency and South West Water.”
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency are working to support the Polperro Harbour Trust with their Prince of Wales Pier repair project. This includes offering advice and helping with the development of a business case for the project to access Government funding in the form of Flood Defence Grant in Aid.”
Armand Toms, councillor East Looe Ward, added: “Not only have I been a councillor all my life I was a fisherman for 25 years and I worked a boat out of Polperro for a couple of years. I was down there when the major storm happened in 1989 when waves were coming over what they call, peak rock and that pier at that time protected the gate there was there then on the harbour.
“It didn’t stop some of the destruction that happened because of the massive waves but since then the Environment Agency have put some brand new gates there and that piers importance for boats that go in and out of that harbour can’t be understated. “It’s important to protect those gates because of the security it gives to the fishing vessels that are working out of Polperro.”
South West Water (SWW) has confirmed that Polperro Harbour Trust have approached them for a contribution towards the maintenance. Despite the water companies pipe work not contributing to the cause of the required repair work, SWW are eager to support the Trust and the community and are actively engaging in finding ways to explore how they can offer support.
So far the petition has raised £145 out of it’s £900,000 target.