Mumbles Pier work under way for £8.5m revamp


South Wales Evening Post - Monday, November 21, 2011


Work has started on dismantling a well-known Swansea landmark in readiness for a massive two-year restoration project.

Contractors have moved in to prepare Mumbles Pier for a £8.5 million transformation which will see a virtual rebuilding of the Victorian structure that dominates Swansea Bay.

The activity of removing decking and old steelwork has already attracted interest.

A spokesman for the project said: “Many visitors are amazed to learn that the original cast-iron stanchions supporting the 113-year old jetty are still structurally sound and will be retained.”

However it is a different story for the pier-end section which is to be demolished as new supports and platforms are needed to allow construction of a new lifeboat house.

This will accommodate the RNLI’s much larger and better equipped Tamar class vessel.

The spokesman added: “Main construction work is scheduled to begin in March next year, but careful preparation is necessary, including the removal and storage of original features such as the cast-iron panels and handrails. Plans to reinstate these elements have been overseen by the Welsh heritage body Cadw.

“There is also a substantial amount of pre-contract planning involved, especially as all the larger spans and steel work will be brought in and erected by barge. Co-ordination is an important factor and pier owners Ameco have the added headache of linking the pier restoration work into construction of a new boardwalk spanning the foreshore.”

And special detail is being paid to the local wildlife, with the spokesman saying: “Work is also in hand to provide nesting boxes for the kittywakes who inhabit the pier superstructure. Care is being taken to protect their habitat and to encourage their return once the project is completed.”

Managing director John Bollom admitted it was a challenging process, but was confident of meeting the 2013 completion target.

“Planning consents are expected to be signed off this week. I am sure our project can provide Swansea and Gower with a vastly improved tourist destination and make sure the RNLI are able to continue their invaluable work.”