Will Fleetwood Pier live on?
Fleetwood Pier was built by the Fleetwood Victoria Pier company for £30,000 and opened on Whit Monday in 1910. It boasted an ornate oriental pavilion, five bars, a nightclub, a fish and chip shop and a 330ft jetty. A cinema was added in 1942, which became the Place to be for courting couples. The cinema was the seat of a fire in August 1952 which destroyed the pier, and was rebuilt almost immediately.
Always overshadowed by, and having to compete with, its three well known neighbours only a tram ride away in Blackpool, the pier continued to remain profitable throughout the declining years of the seaside resort, even receiving a £70,000 facelift in 1972. Sadly this was not to remain the case and the pier’s owners, Fleetwood Amusements Ltd, eventually closed the pier in 2000, after going into liquidation.
In 2003 the pier was given a new lease of life with manchester based Persian Leisure being granted development permission. For a time this injection seemed to breath new life into the structure re-opening most of the former attractions but sadly this could not be sustained.
It was then acquired by Mike Simmons, a professional comedian and property developer well known locally as Joey Blower. Mikes plans for housing development of the pier hit a raw nerve with the local community and as yet no further formal application for planning has been received by Wyre Borough Council.
It is believed the fire started near the entrance to the pier, between the disused cafe and pub. The cause of the fire is as yet unknown although arson is suspected. Mike Simmons has reported that the pier was not insured making the recent demolition order a further burden on overheads.