Cromer pier's �3m repair bill

Richard BatsonCromer's landmark pier needs nearly �1m of urgent repairs in the next two years.Richard Batson

Cromer's landmark pier needs nearly �1m of urgent repairs in the next two years.

But with the bill to mend the metalwork and wooden decking topping more than �3m in the longer term, officials are looking at new technology and funding methods to keep the iconic jetty in top condition.

That includes seeing if a trust could take on ownership or management of the pier, and whether modern steelwork requiring less maintenance can replace Victorian ironwork.

The pier, built in 1901 is owned by North Norfolk District Council, whose head of coastal strategy Peter Frew said: 'The pier is an icon and draws a lot of people to Cromer and North Norfolk

'It is also a liability but its benefits to the tourism economy outweigh its costs.'

The council has had about �1.5m allocated for pier repairs for some time, but the amount of work was more than expected, said Mr Frew, who will ask Monday's cabinet meeting to press ahead with the urgent work, and look at

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'options for ownership/management.'

Much of the metal bracing needed urgent replacement, and all of the timber deck beams, which were so rotten it was proving difficult to screw decking into place.

The problems were in different areas of the pier, but it would be possible to keep it open by phasing work, which was vital for the theatre and the lifeboat station, stressed Mr Frew.