Vital funding could secure the future of Whitby’s iconic twin piers

PUBLISHED: 00:00 18 May 2015 | UPDATED: 18:55 14 January 2016

Whitby Piers - Gordon Ratcliffe

Whitby Piers - Gordon Ratcliffe


£8 million scheme aims to secure the piers for future generations

Whitby doesn’t do things by halves. It doesn’t believe in single portions either (just ask the serving staff at the popular quayside fish and chip shops). To be honest, Whitby is a bit of a second-helping kind of place, which could explain why it’s got two piers.

In reality, it needs its east and west piers to provide a safe harbour. They form an integral part of the town’s coastal defences , as well as strengthening its appeal to visitors, which is why Scarborough Borough Council has been working so hard to secure funding for their protection.

It has now been allocated £4.8m by the Environment Agency towards an £8m scheme to secure the piers for future generations

‘The piers are key assets for the port of Whitby and the local economy so it’s imperative we find the best solutions to improve and maintain them for many years to come,’ said Councillor Mike Cockerill, cabinet member for harbours, assets, coast and flood protection. ‘Surveys to identify the extent of the problems that need addressing have already been carried out and the information gathered will be used as part of the specification for the works. Currently, there are no plans to use rock armour (boulder barriers), but this may need to be reconsidered by future generations if further work is found to be necessary in the years to come when the effects of climate change and increased sea levels become more evident.’

The improvement work involves stabilising the external sandstone blocks, filling in gaps using grout suitable for the marine environment and repairs to the top surface of the piers to prevent water ingress during wave overtopping in rough seas. Access barriers, a flood gate and warning signs will also be installed.

The council is hoping to appoint Mott McDonald as its consultant to procure, project manage and supervise the scheme, and will engage a contractor to design, cost and build it in the near future.

If all the necessary funding can be secured, the improvement works should start in July 2017 with a projected completion date of October 2018.

‘The council takes the importance of Whitby’s iconic piers very seriously,’ said Councillor Joe Plant. ‘While it won’t be a quick process as we are still a couple of years away from starting work on site, the council is committed to adopting a proactive step-by-step approach to ensure all aspects of the project are delivered effectively and efficiently.’ w

What do you think about the plans for Whitby’s piers? Do they go far enough? Let us know your views by emailing, writing to Yorkshire Life, PO Box 163, Ripon, HG4 9AG or tweet @Yorkshire_Life

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