This summer Marcon played a key role in the restoration and reopening of the iconic Hastings Pier. The famous pier underwent two years of renovation works at a cost of £14.2m.
Closed for safety reasons in 2008 and virtually destroyed by fire in October 2010, a local action group raised the funds to rebuild the 140 year-old structure, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Pier’s main attractions are the bar and restaurant in the newly renovated Pavilion building and “The Deck”, a newly built two storey visitor centre with a roof terrace café, bistro restaurant, viewing platform and heritage rooms. The Memories Room allows visitors to explore the Pier’s fascinating history by using a range of interactive multi-touch tables to discover pictures, postcards, photographs, posters and gig tickets from the past. The popular Birch Room is an educational hub hosting a wide range of workshops for children, families and the wider community, as well as exploring Hastings Pier’s history with an audio visual exhibition.
Working closely with the Hastings Pier Charity and interpretive designers DESIGNMAP, Marcon was responsible for the manufacture and installation of all specialist joinery, coordination of audio visual hardware, perimeter graphics and wayfinding signage, installation of interpretive rails along the full length of the pier and the installation of a feature periscope that allows visitors to view under the pier. In addition, Marcon manufactured the mobile interactive units, research kiosks and interactive audio visual multi-touch tables within the Memories Room.
Alan Stewart, Business Development Manager at Marcon talks about the company’s involvement in the scheme; “This project was a first for the Marcon Heritage team. It’s not every day that you get to work on an iconic landmark such as the 140 year old Hastings Pier. It was a joy to work so closely with Hastings Pier Charity and DESIGNMAP, to share their enthusiasm for the restoration of the pier and to help create an attraction that will be enjoyed by so many people for years to come.
Daniel Sutton, Managing Director at DESIGNMAP adds, “There were two key challenges for the design of the interpretation. For the exterior installations we needed to use materials and construction methods capable of withstanding the harsh marine environment. Whilst the interior exhibits had to be updatable and mobile, enabling the exhibition spaces to be reconfigured easily for events. Marcon were proactive throughout the design development process which greatly benefited the final installed scheme. In particular the interior ‘mini-pier’ mobile interpretation stations and exterior ‘topsy-turvy periscope’ have been a great success”.
The pier played host to a Summer Circus and also has plans for farmers’ markets, outdoor cinema, concerts and theatre, Xmas fairs, ice rink, art installations and night sky watching as well as the more traditional seaside promenading.
Much of the funding for the renovation of the pier came from a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund grant whilst a Community Share issue in the pier’s operating company raised over £600,000 from some 3,000 investors, many of whom are local to Hastings.