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Hastings Pier to reopen in May

The iconic venue, the site of Syd Barrett's last gig with Pink Floyd, has been restored to its former glory with National Lottery funding

By Jon Chapple on 08 Feb 2016

Hastings pier fire, 2010, Andy Wilson

The pier on fire in 2010


image © Andy Wilson

A new live music and events space will be at the heart of Hastings Pier when it reopens on 21 May.

The 910′ (277m) pier, in East Sussex in south-eastern England, was partially destroyed by a devastating fire in October 2010.

Built in 1872, it found fame as a popular live music venue in the 1960s and ’70s, hosting performances by The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Genesis, The Hollies, Ten Years After, The Clash and The Sex Pistols. Pink Floyd played their last ever gig with Syd Barrett on Hastings Pier on 20 January 1968.

The pier found fame as a live music venue in the 1960s and ’70s, hosting performances by The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Clash and The Sex Pistols

The pier fell into a state of disrepair in the ’80s. “Piers became unfashionable,” explains Hastings Pier Charity, “and to try and counter the declining crowds the owners of the pier built more and more on the superstructure, often neglecting the substructure itself.” It closed in 2008.

It took the fire – believed to have been the result of an arson attack – to secure funding for the pier’s restoration: the Heritage Lottery Fund committed £11.4 million to the project in 2012.

Three-thousand residents of Hastings have since bought ‘community shares’ in the company that will operate the new pier, which will be a new design rather than an exact replica of the Victorian original.

“People were deeply upset when it burned down,” Hastings Pier Charity’s Simon Opie told The Sunday People. “They resolved to do something about it.”