A popular seaside destination since the 19th century, Cromer Pier in Norfolk is not only a local landmark but is also a testament to the longevity of the Victorian seaside town.
Over the last two hundred years the pier has fallen victim to harsh weather and has been rebuilt several times. On the night of Remembrance Day 1993 for example, a storm tossed a 100 ton rig-barge into the middle of the pier.
North Norfolk District Council immediately made the money available for repairs, and again after substantial storm damage in November 2007 funds were made available- the council is just as committed to the pier today, as the current £1.2m restoration project illustrates.
Whilst the pier is owned and maintained by NNDC, in 2001 a new partnership was formed with Openwide International- the company now manages the commercial operations of the pier.
This partnership has grown in strength with a major part of this focusing on ways to extend the season and increase economic growth for the pier and Cromer. In 2004, further redevelopment increased the seating capacity of the theatre to 510, and added a restaurant called ‘Tides’, boasting the best views in town, a shop, and a superb new theatre
The current essential maintenance work that FPE Global is undertaking is vital in ensuring the pier can continue to thrive well into the 21st century.
FPE Site Operations are conducting all steelwork repairs, joisting and decking and are using IRATA rope access personnel to bring the pier up to scratch.
Cromer pier is not the first pier that FPE have conducted work on, over the past few years work has been carried out on piers in Llandudino, Southsea and Blackpool. All these piers were built over one hundred years ago and that fact alone speaks volumes for the delicate kind of maintenance work that FPE Site Operations carries out.
Whether it is the innovative use of temporary structures to remove badly corroded or damaged beams or the replacement of pile caps and decking – FPE Site Operations have demonstrated time and again an acute understanding of the fact that most piers are commercial ventures and any maintenance work must be completed with the minimal amount of disruption to public enjoyment.
Hill and Webster ltd of Ashbourne provided the steel trusses for the maintenance work being carried out on the pier. The family run company has been in business for over 50 years and prides itself on being able to make almost anything out of steel.