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Readers back newspaper's bid to save historic pier

A weekly newspaper’s bid to save a town’s 138-year-old pier has won the backing of 3,000 readers in an online petition.

The Hastings Observer launched a campaign last year to safeguard the attraction that has been closed for four years.

The newspaper estimates that the town has lost out on an estimated 750,000 visitors and more than £9m in tourism revenues since the closure of the pier.

Now an online petition in support of the campaign signed by 3,000 readers of its website has been handed in to council leaders.

It calls on the authority to work with the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust to ensure the pier is reopened.

In addition to the petition, which has been signed by local residents, holidaymakers and day visitors, the newspaper has produced a window poster, pictured above left, urging residents to show their support.

Richard Morris, who has covered the story for the Hastings Observer since the pier originally closed, said: “Taking a side on big issues is not something we have traditionally done here in Hastings, but we felt this was too important a cause not to back.

“I would say nine out of ten readers we speak to want the pier open again.”

He added: “Campaigns may seem like a lot of hard work and they do have a slight risk. But in our experience this has been nothing but good for our sales and our reputation.”

“A town like Hastings, one of the most deprived in the south, could really do without this sort of loss in trade, so as a paper we decided to try and move things along.

Hastings Borough Council is due to discuss the future of the pier in the next few weeks.