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Students' Herne Bay Pier vision 'excellent'

By This is Kent  |  Posted: December 03, 2010

  • Pier pitch: Ellen Ward (left) and Carla Novak present their ideas to the Herne Bay Pier Trust

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TWO students from the School of Architecture at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury have given their recommendations for the future of Herne Bay Pier.

Ellen Ward and Carla Novak, both studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Architecture, won the chance to present their group's ideas at a meeting of the Herne Bay Pier Trust on November 15.

The regeneration of the pier was adopted by the School of Architecture as a special "live" project for students to work on.

The best proposal won the chance to be presented to the board of trustees and the public.

Ellen's plans are based on a marina which would grow in response to demand.

Carla's group envisaged making the pier an extension of the current High Street with a high-end hotel and supermarket attracting a hub of shops, bars and a farmer's market.

Course leader John Bell said both sets of plans were highly commended.

He said: "The girls' proposals received an enthusiastic response at the meeting, with many saying that their ideas were a great deal more useful that the official report that was commissioned by the council.

"Ellen and Carla did us proud – their work was excellent and we are looking forward to further collaborations with the trust, including an imminent exhibition of its own plans."

Fourth year architecture student Carla, 23, said: "We were really happy with how our presentation went.

"We were apprehensive about how people might react to our marina-based proposals but they actually sparked a lively debate and seemed to be well received.

"I think the audience liked our ideas because they were new and different and included features that would bring revenue and the tourist trade to Herne Bay."

Fellow student Ellen, also 23, said: "This gave us a unique opportunity to represent UCA in the local community.

"It also enhanced our presentation skills, provided an insight into 'real-life' client relationships, enabled us to show people what we can do professionally and also gave us a chance to make a name for ourselves and network.

"It is fantastic that UCA provides opportunities for students to work on 'real projects. It is great experience for us and hopefully the companies or bodies we work with get something from it, too."

Mr Bell added: "The project showed how committed we are in being involved with architectural and urban issues in the community and giving students hands-on skills that they wouldn't be able to learn in the classroom."

Pier spokesman Ian Priston said: "There were some very complimentary remarks about the girls' plans, although we are not considering a marina at the moment.

"In the long term we want a world-class attraction there ."

The existing pier pavilion will be demolished next year when the roller-hockey is moved to Herne Bay High School.

The city council has set aside £425,000 to pull it down. The space will be temporarily covered over with Tarmac.

The Herne Bay Pier Trust has 206 members. Membership costs £10 a year. To join, email mail@hernebaypiertrust.co.uk.

The Trust has so far received £3,500 from the county council and £500 from the town's chamber of commerce.

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    Sara, Brighton  |  December 08 2010, 11:18AM

    It is a great idea to tie in the achievements of university students with local initiatives. Not only does it give students great experience of pitching, but it looks fantastic on their CV's. If plans for tuition fee rises go ahead, universities need to find ways to increase the value of degrees in line with this, by making students more employable when they come to search for graduate jobs. I graduated this year with significant debt despite working throughout my degree, but this worked out well. I worked hard, had fun, made great friends, kept debt under control and improved my employment prospects so would recommend it!