Cleethorpes Pier

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Cleethorpes Pier
Cleethorpes Pier - - 125734.jpg
Cleethorpes Pier pictured in 2006
OwnerPapa's Fish and Chips
Total length102 m (335 ft)[1]
ConstructorHead Wrightson[1]
Opening date4 August 1873; 148 years ago (1873-08-04)[1]

Cleethorpes Pier is a pleasure pier in the town of Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, England. Opened in 1873 on August Bank Holiday, it originally cost £8,000 and was financed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (later the Great Central Railway).


Originally 1,200 feet (370 m) in length to span the unusually large distance between low and high tide limits, the pier comprised a timber deck and pavilion (constructed in 1888) supported on iron piles. A section was cut out of the pier during the Second World War to impede its use in any German invasion attempt.


Plans for the pier first appeared in late 1866 in The London Gazette and construction was ordered in 1867. The pier was built by Head Wrightson at a cost of £8,000 (equivalent to £753,613 in 2021) and financed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, who later took on an annual £450 lease in 1884 followed by full acquisition 20 years later for £11,250 (equivalent to £1,330,915 in 2021).[1]

The original pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1903 but in 1905 a new one was built, halfway along the pier, and also a cafeteria and shops at the entry from the promenade. The pavilion offered a venue for dances and concerts. Cleethorpes Borough Council assumed ownership of the pier in 1936,[2] the year that the resort gained borough status.

The pier as pictured in July 1983

A £50,000 (equivalent to £922,521 in 2021) investment in 1968 modernised the 600-seat concert hall, cafe and bar. As well as traditional summer shows, it housed wrestling, coin & stamp fairs and dance festivals. However, after a series of losses on the summer show, the council sold the pier in 1981 to Funworld of Skegness, who later themselves put the pier up for sale. The council declined an offer to buy back the pier, saying it would need a £200,000 reconstruction. Following this, nightclub owner Mark Mayer purchased the pier for £10,000 and, after an investment of £300,000, it reopened as 'Pier 39' (a modern nightclub) on 4 September 1985, he later sold it for £1.2m [2] Subsequent developments included a shelter for those awaiting access to the night-club, and pier widening with new underneath piles distinct from the originals.[1]

Recent problems[edit]

Cleethorpes Pier's owners from 2005 were those responsible for a management buyout from Luminar Leisure. In 2006 they rebuilt the former Paradise Club, with the new Waterfront Bar officially opened by Tim Mickleburgh, Hon Vice President of the National Piers Society.

The pier closed in 2010 but, in May 2010, a local businessman, Bryn Ilsey, bought the venue and leased it out.[2]

The Pier nightclub reopened to the public on 27 November 2010, after undergoing a £200,000 refurbishment,[2] with day and night opening.

It closed again on 2 September 2011 when owners surrendered their licence to the authorities pending an investigation into a series of violent incidents and serious disorder.[3]

Frontage of the pier, pictured in July 2010


It was re-opened on 1 December 2011 under the ownership of local businessman Alistair Clugston, with the front section being renamed the Tides Bar & Restaurant. The large hall continues as a nightclub, but with a 21-year age restriction.

The London Evening Standard for 12 December 2012 carried a half-page advertisement offering Cleethorpes Pier for sale by auction on 2 February 2013.[4] At auction on the pier, it failed to reach its guide price of £400,000.[5] However, a "venture partnership" had since purchased the pier for above the guide price and would take possession on 30 April 2013.[6] In late May 2013 the pier was again on the market after the purchaser failed to meet the conditions of the sale. The owner says he is also willing to rent the pier to anyone interested.[7]

In July 2013, local businessman Bryan Huxford purchased the pier for Community use[8] and it has since re-opened to the public. Future plans for developing the structure were unveiled that November. The pier closed in late 2014 so that refurbishment could begin, but did not start until March 2015 with an expected re-opening date of July 2015.[9]

The Pier reopened in August 2015, the venue then held the 1873 restaurant offering fine dining, The Promenade, a public house that served traditional pub food and The Victoria Tea room for afternoon tea and dishes from a bistro menu. The historic venue also hosted live entertainment and held many functions and conferences ranging from weddings and birthday parties to corporate events.

In September 2016, the pier was again put up for sale,[10] and was purchased by Papa's Fish and Chip chain for an undisclosed fee in December 2016.[11] It then re-opened in time for the 2017 season, when it claimed to be the largest fish and chip restaurant in the country.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Cleethorpes Pier Statistics". National Piers Society. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Cleethorpes Pier, North East Lincolnshire". The Heritage Trail. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier will remain closed 'indefinitely' after catalogue of crime". Grimsby Telegraph. 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  4. ^ London Evening Standard 12 December 2012
  5. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier fails to reach auction guide price". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier sold at auction". BBC News. BBC. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier back on market after sale collapses". BBC News. BBC. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier bought by businessman for 'community use'". BBC News. BBC. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier work begins in time for July opening". BBC News Humberside. BBC. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier: Best pier title holder up for sale". BBC News. BBC. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Cleethorpes Pier bought by Papa's Fish and Chips chain". BBC News. BBC. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°33′40″N 0°01′36″W / 53.56111°N 0.02667°W / 53.56111; -0.02667

Awards and achievements
Preceded by National Piers Society
Pier of the Year

Succeeded by