West Pier timeline

A short history of the West Pier, from 1884 to the present, including work by the West Pier Trust for a modern pier for Hove.
1864 Work began

1865 The pier was opened

1875 A bandstand was added

1901 A landing stage was added making the pier 1,115 feet long

1916 The concert hall was added

1920 This decade the pier had two million visitors each year

1960 This decade, after a steady decline the pier has financial difficulties

1970 Main pierhead is closed because of safety issues

1970 The remainder is closed

1982 The pier becomes the only one in the UK to be Listed Grade 1

1983 The West Pier Trust buys the pier

1984-1997 Various proposals all fail due to planning or funding problems

1998 £15 million from the National Lottery is awarded if it can be matched by private sector funds

1999 First plans unveiled but financial backers withdraw

2000 St Mowden Properties become the West Pier Trust's development partner

2001 The Palace Pier begin a legal challenge to the lottery funding

2002 A year after English Heritage names the West Pier 'at risk’ a piece collapses

2003 A fire in March damages the southern end. A second fire in May burnt all day leaving only the framework

2004 Heavy seas finish the job and hopes of restoring the Grade 1 building seem to be gone for good. Heritage lottery funding is withdrawn

2005 The West Pier Trust produces proposals for a privately funded pier at the cost of £90 million and private sector groups have shown an interest in a New West Pier. Discussions are ongoing but at an early stage