Work to renovate an historic Victorian landmark has taken a major step forward – thanks to help from a galvanizing business.
Volunteers have begun a long-term project to restore the 130-year-old Queen’s Pier, in Ramsey, Isle of Man, to its former glory.
And staff at the Liverpool plant provided a significant boost to the community-funded initiative by ensuring custom-built sections of steel, specially designed to replace wrought iron girders and trusses, were galvanized in double-quick time.
Their efforts have won praise from members of the Queen’s Pier Restoration Trust (QPRT), who expect to complete work on the first section of the 660m-long structure in Spring.
Project manager Stuart McKenzie said: “This is a massive project that has been taken on by members of the community to preserve a famous landmark that’s been on our doorstep since 1886.
“All of the money required is being raised by volunteers and via sponsorships, legacies and donations. But we’ve also been heavily supported by local companies – we wouldn’t be able to do it without them.
“Steel for the first section was fabricated by Gallas Foundry in Douglas and galvanized by Merseyside Galvanizing, who have been absolutely first class.
“We were really keen to have the initial 14.5-tonne batch of trusses and girders processed quite quickly and they were able to turn it around within days.
“They’ve gone above and beyond for us, ensured all of the work was carried out to the correct standard and given us valuable advice too.”
Renovation of the entire pier, which closed in 1990 due to concerns about safety, could cost around £7.5 million.
The process began with structural surveys in 2016 and work to restore the first 50 metres of the pier – double the width of the rest as it abuts the promenade – began a year later.
Members of QPRT are hoping to complete the initial section as soon as the weather improves and are already closing in on their fund-raising target for the next stage of a project likely to last several years.
Richard Smetham, Sales Manager at Merseyside Galvanizing, is standing by.
He said: “The restoration is a community project that will ensure the pier remains a special landmark in Ramsey for many years to come.
“Stuart wanted to ensure the new girders and trusses will have as long a life expectancy as possible and when he approached us to have them galvanized, we were only too happy to help out.
“We processed the initial batch of lattice beams and supports quickly as per our Premium Service and that’s now back in the Isle of Man ready for installation.
“We’re expecting a number of similar batches of work over the next couple of years as the project progresses – possibly amounting to around 200 tonnes.
“But it’s great for us to be able to play a role in what is such as worthwhile initiative.”