After their funding the restoration of  Penarth Pier Pavilion – and Hastings Pier  – the Heritage Lottery Fund says it now regards pier restoration projects everywhere as “high risk”

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)  – the organisation which provided most of the public money for the redevelopment of Penarth Pier Pavilion in 2013 – is now citing what it calls the “negative performance” of the Pavilion as a reason for turning down similar restoration projects.

HLF Trustees has now told a group which is hoping to renovate and rebuild part of the derelict pier at Colwyn Bay in North Wales that HLF  now considers pier projects as “high risk” in view of what it describes as thenegative economic performances” of projects at  Hastings Pier and Penarth Pier.

Bulldozers started work on demolishing Colwyn Bay’s Victoria Pier in March . Now the Heritage Lottery Fund has refused funding to re-build it .

Nigel Gilbert, vice-chairman of the Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust (CVPT) said the group had to pick itself “off the floor” after learning that its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund bid to redevelop Colwyn Bay Pier had been denied because the project was deemed too high risk”.

The decision appears to indicate that what the HLF described earlier this month as “weaknesses”  at Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd [ the not-for-profit company/ “charity” which has leased Penarth Pier Pavilion for 125 years from the Vale of Glamorgan Council]  is now having knock-on effects to other piers in the UK which are attempting to carry out major renovation schemes .

PDN sources say that as far as Penarth is concerned there’s no comparison between the completed restoration of Penarth Pier Pavilion and the plight of Colwyn Bay’s Victoria Pier because:-

  • In Penarth it was only a matter of restoring the Pavilion building itself – not the rest of the pier structure.
  • At Colwyn Bay however, two sections of the derelict pier had collapsed into the sea in February this year  and the restoration scheme involves demolishing part of the existing pier structure and its  two main buildings and then  restoring the entire pier to its original length, complete with kiosks and a pavilion .

Richard Bellamy Head of the Wales Office of the Heritage Lottery Fund

Richard Bellamy, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, says: “At Heritage Lottery Fund we invest time and resources in developing a constructive dialogue with all our potential applicants to ensure they have a clear understanding of our funding criteria and we advise them accordingly.This helps the applicants in deciding whether to make an application to us or potentially to tailor it in view of the discussion.

Mr Bellamy says :“We have a responsibility for distributing money raised by National Lottery players and as a result we take great care to spend the money wisely taking the possible risks of each project into account.The projects that we invest in must demonstrate longevity and a clear vision for their future sustainability.”

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. We need our forensic independant audit. We need pacl out and directors all directors and trustees past and present brought to account – in the glare of the public light to answer questions – so many questions , and we need the accounts for 2016 that little agatha Christie mystery: we’ll sort and solve it
    Stop all money – not one penny more to be spent until we know exactly where we are. NOW.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      In the light of this allegation attributed to HLF Wales and should Democratic Elections for the new PACL Board not be called as part of their current restructuring . Should they not designate seats on that Board for volunteer Directors who are ordinary members of the community residing within the same Electoral Area as Penarth Town Council–
      Then it seems almost inevitable that a complaint citing this allegation will be submitted under the terms of the Charity Commission’s- Gov UK’s own Requirements and Regulations.

      These Grounds for Complaint are:-

      “Serious non-compliance in a charity that damages or has the potential to damage its reputation and/or the reputation of charities generally”

      “Serious non-compliance in a charity which, left unchecked, could damage public trust and confidence in the Charity Commission as an effective regulator”

      “The standard of service provided by a charity”

      “Disputes within a charity involving members and/or trustees”

      “Significant financial loss to the charity”

      “Where a charity’s independence is seriously called into question”

      Source Charity Commission -Gov UK

  2. Big Davey says:

    It is a real shame that the obvious poor performance or shall we be generous and say mismatched skills of the the board of PACL is also having a negative impact on other HLF schemes.

    Another good reason to scrap PACL as lease operators of the Pavilion and start again. There are so many better qualified people trying to make headway with this who are getting nowhere fast. The vale as owners need to re-take control on the basis that PACL are unable to demonstrate they can meet the lease and operation commitments over the next 12 months.

    The vale should get an insolvency practitioner to wind PACL up and also investigate the actions of the directors and board members of the trust.

  3. Chris David says:

    But the HLF are still granting PACL what was it- £126,000? So here’s some figures re PACL. P&L. Turnover 2013 £1,962,819 retained profit £1.659,804. P&L. Turnover 2015 £194,609 Loss (£82,674). Salaries in 2015 £157,609. Balance sheet. At 31/12/2015. Total fixed assets were £3,209,888 and shareholders funds/ net worth stood at £3,240,540. Since 2011 return on net assets/ capital employed has gone from + 83.41% to minus -2.56%. So any accountants care to comment? Ps – its wholly PACL’s fault we don’t have up to the minute figures!

  4. pensocrainagain says:

    This is very strange logic as Penarth Pier and the Pavilion are managerially completely separate entities and, although the Pavilion is clearly in difficulties, the pier itself continues to be very well managed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. So funding for all pier projects will now be cancelled because the management of a building on our pier has serious problems, even though the pier itself is in very good shape and has no such problems.

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