At June’s area committee meeting Bute and Cowal members agreed to invest over £2million in major structural repairs and works to redevelop the buildings on Dunoon’s wooden pier, a category A listed structure.
Following recent survey work it is clear that major investment is required in order to save the pier and, because of the importance of the pier to the people of Dunoon, members agreed to make this significant investment to cover the initial phases of redevelopment work.
Members recognised the importance of the pier to both the people of Dunoon and the wider Cowal area as probably the last remaining example of a wooden Victorian-era pier in Scotland. They are eager to work with the community in order to save it in the immediate term and explore external funding opportunities to develop it for leisure, cultural and business use in the longer term.
This initial investment will be used to secure the substructure as well as refurbishing two of the existing buildings - the main waiting room and the harbour master’s building.
A phased approach will be taken to the pier project, with the council working to secure the substructure as part of the Phase 1A work, before moving on to the decking and buildings as part of Phase 1B.
Phase 1A is estimated to be complete by the end of this financial year, with Phase 1B estimated to take a further four to six months.
The work to strengthen the southern arm of the pier (the pedestrian access) will include repairs to the decayed timber piles and repairs/renewal of timber cross bracing and the longitudinal ties below the high water level.
Existing decking beams will be lifted, repaired and replaced to avoid oversized gaps between the beams as well as repair work to the handrailing.
Work on the buildings will involve essential structural/building repairs to the harbour masters building and waiting room which will enable an internal refit as part of the longer term project.
The council will also be installing pier to shore foul drainage to service the waiting room building and erecting a barrier to prevent public access to the parts of the pier to be repaired under Phase 2.
Beyond this work, members are eager to lobby for further funding at national level to fulfil their long-term ambitions for both the pier and its buildings – bringing all the pier buildings back in to viable economic use and securing the pier head.
Members are fully committed to exploring any and all opportunities to preserve this iconic structure for future generations