The pier, opened in 1869, is the only operating Grade I listed seaside pier in the UK. To thrive it needed to offer an enhanced visitor experience which will contribute to the long term future of the pier.
The new cafe/restaurant,  a education/meeting space and toilet facilities are all in a modern building which is set down into the existing ramp linking the pier to land. This new building has been carefully designed to retain the integrity of the original pier. Views of the pier head buildings from the land side are not impeded by the largely transparent glazed roof of the tea room part of the new visitor facilities, which emerges from the slope of the ramp.
Part of the roof of the new visitor facilities forms an additional viewing platform, with access to the new building via a glazed "funnel", the form of which reflects the pier's long standing function as an embarcation point for pleasure steamers.
The remaining accommodation is  set underground (under the ramp's surface), contained by the existing stone walls, with a single window under the pier giving glimpses of the elegant form of the arched pier supports. 
Architects: O'LearyGoss
Main contractor: Beard Construction
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