Weather Permitting the Pier will be open daily from 8.00 am with the retail outlets opening at 11.00 am. During the winter months we will close at 3.30pm

Traditional Seaside Fun for All the Family!

Press Request – Good News!!!

You asked us:

I’m writing from KentOnline and the Herne Bay Gazette. We’ve had talks with some concerned residents who say the Pier needs to be rebuilt in order to reach its true potential and who claim the snub of levelling up money is killing the town.

Our Response:

The Pier was not included in the LUF bid. The Trust was informed by the Council that The Pier was already successful enough in its own right.  If the LUF bid had been successful the funds would have gone to the Bandstand and the Kings Hall with nothing provided for the Pier.

It needs to be known that the mammoth task of running the Pier and all that involves is managed entirely by an unpaid team of enthusiastic Trustees and Volunteers who give of their time and passion freely.

The Trust pay an annual rent of £20,000 to Canterbury City Council as well as financing all service costs – light and power, commercial rubbish collection, communication costs,cleaning and maintenance and the provision and cleaning of portaloos.

Herne Bay Pier Trust provide all the seasonal decorations including Christmas lights, lanterns,  tricolours, bunting, tree decorations, funding for the mast lights at the front of the Pier, cleaning around the areas of the front of the Pier cleaning and painting white walls.  The Amy Johnson plane was cleaned this month, her board replaced and the town sign renovated.

Nearly 30 independent businesses are running on the Pier – providing great opportunities for local start up businesses.  Several of our prior tenants have moved on to take on larger premises both in Herne Bay and the surrounding area and are still trading successfully.  Our website provides a great cost free platform for these traders to advertise their businesses.

The end of the Pier has an area where many people now have Plaques. These have been funded by donations and we have built up a wonderful rapport with many of these who have fond memories of their loved ones visiting the Pier and they now come themselves to relive those memories and now share in the annual Light Up The Night Event.

Herne Bay Pier has been used as a filming location many times.  Bollywood film, Jay Blades Britain’s Best Beach Huts which featured the amazing Beach Hut Weddings. And Netflix’s Heartstopper which led to a German couple travelling to Herne Bay to get married on the Pier and many others as well as reviews in national magazinesAdmission to the Pier during the day continues to cost nothing.

You asked us:

Would you be able to address these comments please?

How is the Pier and its events looking?

The Pier has reached its full potential

Our Response:

The Pier has achieved its maximum capacity as it stands currently – the retail & food huts are in great demand and there is always a waiting list.

The Summer period is extremely busy with 80,000 visitors  during the 6 weeks holiday time.

Out of season is obviously more difficult.  We are situated in the North Sea Estuary and open to all the elements being an outside venue reaching out into the sea.  Opening can be restricted due to adverse weather conditions.  However the occasions when the Pier is shut completely are very rare and these are published on the website should there be no option other than to close the Pier.

Below is a summary of the activities and events held on the Pier throughout the year (and this is not exhaustive)

Halloween Events – family events including a disco  held annually during half term week in October/November

Laser Show – family event held  for the last 3 years .  Spectacular Laser Show, Disco, Food Court open, Christmas shopping, Santa Claus, meet the panto characters from Theatrecraft, Fire Eater etc

Light up the Night – a wonderful evening  in collaboration with Cruse Bereavement in November for the last 2 years and will be back again in 2024

Santa’s Grotto – annual event –  weekends in December.Extended new Grotto in 2023 and 50 free tickets distributed to families via the Poppy Centre

Pilgrims Hospice Santa on the Run route includes the Pier every year with hundreds of participants

The early part of 2024 has seen Trustees,Volunteers, tenants and the  council embarking on a concerted effort of clean up and maintenance, to give the Pier a fresh look for the start of the season.  Much of the damaged decking has been replaced or repaired and the decking has been jet washed, further works are being carried out by CCC to the railings and the tarmac areas, the solar panels have been inspected and cleaned.  We have placed new planters up the centre of the Pier and they have been filled with bulbs and new planting is ready to go in now.  The Carousel and the Helter Skelter will be returning – all this in time for the Easter Holidays and the launch of the new season

Over the Easter Holidays the Trustees and tenants will be organising an Easter Bunny Hunt, an Easter Bonnet Competition and a visit on Easter Sunday from Ark Animal Encounters which will include Ermintrude the dwarf Zebu cow, Polly a miniature Mediterranean donkey, Pretty a miniature Shetland pony, Betty a miniature Ouessant sheep and Garland the Pygmy goat, as well as rabbits, guinea pigs, chicks, ducklings and baby turkeys or goslings.

There is a full programme of live evening music events booked for the summer season which will see popular tribute bands and well loved local bands on the Pier Stage.

The Pier continues to collaborate with the community too.  Once again we will be hosting the Main Event for the Jazz and Swing Festival (for a 7th year) which is free for all.  Last year saw the first live streaming of the Sunday event with  24,000 views.  There will be  exciting new features this year with a potential for local advertisers to promote their services.

We are now working with Cabin FM who will providing music for us during the day

The Kavanagh Cinema have arranged a showing of Grandad & The Pier at the end of April on our behalf which will be followed by a Q & A session with the director.

We will continue to support the annual Pilgrims Hospice Fund Raising Day and are now working with the RNLI and their fundraising team who will be seen on the Pier this year.

We will continue to work with Cruse Bereavement to hold their iconic Light Up The Night event in November which has already been warmly welcomed by those that have a memorial plaque on the Pier.

You asked us:

What plans are there for the Pier in future?

Our Response:

The Trust are constantly reviewing the future of the Pier and listening to new ideas – we have recently had a member come to us with some exciting thoughts and we are already hoping to move these forward and are in the process of setting up a working committee

We are always looking at the Pier’s Green footprint and exploring new energy sources to complement the Solar array we already have.

The development of a new community space at the end of the Pier is already being formulated.

Working with the Council for budgeted major maintenance works scheduled for this year.

You asked us:

Would you agree with the idea Herne Bay’s Pier could and should be a destination similar to Whitstable – or Folkestone? They say the Pier could rival Folkestone’s Harbour Arm if everyone was pulling in the same direction.

Our Response:

We see no difference in Herne Bay and Whitstable as a destination.  Whitstable has the harbour and we have the Pier and English Heritage have described the Pier as a retail magnet for the whole of Herne Bay

We have for some time acknowledged that Folkestone is serious competition for Herne Bay.

To rival Folkestone we need to look at areas where our town can promote itself to match what is being achieved in Folkestone with the emphasis on our Seafront but  looking at all potential areas in the town.  The Airshow & Vintage Car Show have proved what can be done and how many visitors we are able to attract to our town but this sort of event needs the input and support from the whole town.  The extension to the Jazz Festival is proving popular, reaching out to new venues and extending the event.  We need to look at what works in other towns such as Folkestone’s Kate Bush Day, Broadstairs where the Food Festival and Folk Week attract thousands of people and explore these and revisit the events that we have seen work for the town in the past.

To extend the Pier there has to be purpose and a proven need and would cost millions and continue to cost millions more in maintenance and upkeep.  Grants for this are hard to find due to the economic turn although we are always actively seeking funding.

Finally –  please check the reviews left on Google and Trip Advisor to see what people really think about the Pier.

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