Cleethorpes Pier is a pleasure pier in the town of Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, England. It originally cost £8,000, which was financed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (later the Great Central Railway). It was officially opened on August Bank Holiday Monday 1873.
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, however, cut out of the pier during the Second World War to impede its use in any German invasion attempt.
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, the year that the resort gained borough status.
A £50,000 investment in 1968 made the pavilion one of the most modern on the East Coast. 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 and, after an investment of £300,000, it reopened as ‘Pier 39’ (a modern nightclub) on 4 September 1985 it was a very good night club. Subsequent developments included a shelter for those awaiting access to the night-club, and pier widening with new underneath piles distinct from the originals.
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.
The Pier nightclub reopened to the public on 27 November 2010, after undergoing a £200,000 refurbishment, 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.
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. At auction on the pier, it failed to reach its guide price of £400,000. However, a “venture partnership” had since purchased the pier for above the guide price and would take possession on 30 April 2013. 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. In July 2013, local businessman Bryan Huxford purchased the pier for Community use 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.
The Pier reopened in August 2015, the iconic venue now holds the 1873 restaurant offering fine dining, The Promenade, a public house serving traditional pub food and The Victoria Tea room for afternoon tea and dishes from an appetising bistro menu. It’s a prime location for live entertainment in Cleethorpes hosting acts from around the globe. With its stunning views and sophisticated facilities, the historic venue also holds many functions and conferences ranging from weddings and birthday parties to corporate events.
The Pier, Cleethorpes is already well on its way to achieving its aim of restoring regional pride. Voted by members of the National Piers Society, The Pier, Cleethorpes has been named Pier of the Year 2016.
In September 2016, the pier was again put up for sale, and was purchased by Papa’s Fish and Chip chain for an undisclosed fee in December 2016.