Following a serious blaze in 2010 which damaged 90% of the Grade II listed substructure of Hastings Pier, two of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd plants, Wessex Galvanizers Ltd and B E Wedge Ltd, were called upon to provide durable and long-lasting steel protection as part of the huge £14.2million restoration works.
The project has since gained national attention, scooping the biggest award in architecture, the RIBA Stirling Prize 2017, as well as the Galvanizing Association’s coveted Engineering Award.
Wessex Galvanizers Ltd galvanized over 250 tonnes of steel used for the pier’s structural redevelopment, while B E Wedge Ltd, which specialises in spin galvanizing for smaller components, was required to process 15 tonnes used for supportive steel plates.
Richard Whiddett, Sales Manager at Wessex Galvanizers Ltd, commented: “We were thrilled to have played a role in helping bring the iconic pier back to life. Like many, we’ve already seen the positive impact that its restoration has had on the local economic and tourism industry.
“The project has been recognised nationally and picked up some of the biggest awards going in the architecture industry, which is testament to the gruelling work that it’s taken over the last few years not just by Wedge and our customers, but the many other contractors involved, not to mention the community and supporters, who helped turn their mission into a reality.”
RIBA’s highest accolade, the Stirling Prize is judged against a range of criteria including design vision, innovation and originality, capacity to stimulate, engage and delight occupants and visitors, and the level of client satisfaction. Hastings Pier was one of six buildings shortlisted for the coveted award, with others including the City of Glasgow College, Command of the Oceans, and the British Museum World Conservation and Exhibition Centre.
The Victorian pier dates to 1872 and was originally 910ft long, but was closed in 2008 following storm damage which deemed it unsafe to the public – with the fire in 2010 subsequently leaving 90% of the pier’s superstructure in ruins. Hastings Pier Charity, a Community Benefit Society, gained support from its members and shareholders, as well as significant investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to restore the pier.
BY Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd
Photo Credit: VMZINC