Following a three-year project, a team led by conservation architect Donald Insall Associates has completed work on the grade two-listed waterfront attraction.
Finished alongside the associated seawall improvements and adjacent landscaping, the improved pier is a part of the regeneration plans for the waterfront and town centre.
Originally opened in 1900, the pier was extended to include the Bijou Theatre, playing host to top entertainers. At its peak, the pier included three pavilions.
Severely dilapidated, the pier was closed in 2008 and later ravaged by Storm Doris in 2017, with parts collapsing into the sea. Subsequently, it was mostly dismantled for safety and preservation reasons.
On winning a competitive tender to bring back the pier as a smaller attraction in 2018, DIA inherited a structure comprising nine standing columns, a stone seawall and fragments of the previous structure. Parts of its work involved introducing materials and design features to better protect the ironwork from saltwater damage.
DIA said that through a combination of technical expertise, thorough historical investigation, and creative design, it has respected the pier’s character and past while reimagining it for the 21st century.
Brian Cossey, Conwy Council’s cabinet member for finance and chair of the Pier Project Board, said: “Having the pier open for the public to use once more is another piece in the multi-million-pound redevelopment of the Colwyn Bay waterfront and the physical regeneration of the town. It will be great to see families being able to enjoy the space as well as the beautiful coastline.”
Elgan Jones, senior architect at DIA, added: “Despite Colwyn Bay pier’s turbulent history, the fact that there has been a continued commitment to secure the future of its fine pier is testament to its centrality in the regeneration of the town and the waterfront.
“Our role in the project has brought a considered conservation approach, conserving what is significant about the pier while allowing lessons learnt from its previous disasters to inform new elements, which will better preserve the fabric in the long term.”
Click any image to launch the gallery. Credit for all images: Andy Marshall