Brighton’s West Pier Trust

For almost a century and a half the West Pier has been Britain’s most iconic pier. Renowned for its wonderful architectural style, it has been visited and enjoyed by millions. Even today with its sculptural remains casting an eerie beauty over the seafront, the West Pier is still the most photographed building in Brighton.

Opening in 1866 as a simple promenade pier, by the early twentieth century with the addition of a theatre and concert hall, it had become a thriving centre of seaside entertainment. By the late 1920’s the fully developed West Pier was enjoying its glamorous heyday. With the outbreak of the second world war, and the changed circumstances of its aftermath, the fortunes of the West Pier began to decline. As the fashion for foreign holidays took hold in the 50’s and 60’s, the neglected pier fell into disrepair.

Declared unsafe, the grand old lady was closed to the public in 1975. After years of seeking funding to restore the pier, the Trust was awarded a major Lottery grant and the restoration was about to begin in 2003 when the pier was destroyed in two arson attacks. The Lottery funding was withdrawn in 2004 and the future looked bleak.

The West Pier and Brighton i360

i360The West Pier Trust is proud landlord of Brighton i360. This brilliant new attraction is a worthy successor in design and engineering terms to the West Pier. It will be a new landmark for Brighton and re-establish the city’s reputation for innovative world class architecture. Without the i360 the West Pier site had no future.

The i360 will regenerate the site, boost the city’s economy and makes a future new West Pier more, not less, likely.

Activities for Schools

The West Pier Trust works with schools. We provide KS 1 & 2 sessions, talks, tours and activities at the Fishing Museum, West Pier site or on school premises at any time of the year.


West Pier Kiosk

West Pier Heritage Centre Kiosk

A focal part of the landscaping scheme either side of the i360 will be a restored 1866 octagonal pier kiosk which was salvaged from the pier in the late 1990’s. Read more »

West Pier Archive

Visit our photographic archive of the Pier. The photos range from the late 19th Century to through to photos showing the pier before the collapsed and the fire.

History of the Pier

Find out about the history of the Pier from it’s design in 1866 by Eugenius Birch to the collapse and fire 2002/3

Latest News


West Pier Trust’s May 2016 newsletter

Catch up on our latest news including a profile on...Read more »


George Douglas Exhibition at Brighton Photography

George Douglas was a prolific photographer who over the duration...Read more »


Things we liked this week

The Historic Diving Society have been posting some wonderful images...Read more »


April newsletter

Take ten minutes out of your day and catch up...Read more »


BA i360 submit plans for a spire to top the observation tower

BA i360 have submitted plans to Brighton & Hove Council...Read more »


Beautiful Brighton Seafront

Sam Moore’s new video shows the seafront at its best....Read more »