Designed by W.Sutcliffe Marsh, the 835 foot pier opened on May
10th 1898. It had cost £10,000. It was the terminus for the
Swansea and Mumbles Railway, the promoter being John Jones Jenkins
of the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway.
Amusement Equipment Co. Ltd (AMECO) gained a licence to operate
the pier from 1st October 1937, later taking out a lease. They
acquired the freehold in 1957.
Sectioned in 1940, the pier was extensively reconstructed in the
1950s, and a landing jetty was added. It officially re-opened on
9th June 1956. A new amusement arcade was built on the pier's
frontage in 1966.
AMECO spent between £25,000 and £30,000 per annum on the
maintenance and replacement of the steelwork between 1975 and
1985.The pier was closed on 1st October 1987 but re-opened on Good
Friday 1988, after £40,000 had been spent during the winter on
renewing steelwork near to the entrance.
A new pavilion was built on the landward end in 1998 and
incorporates a bar, restaurant, bowling alley, cafe, nightclub and
On the north side of the pier, an access bridge extends to an RNLI Lifeboat station. The RNLI operate from the pier on a license
basis and have a long association with Mumbles and the pier dating
back to 1866. But when the next generation of lifeboat comes into
service in Mumbles in 3 to 4 years, the current facility will no
longer be suitable – the new boat will not fit into the existing
building and will not be capable of being launched from the
current location at low tide. RNLI's intention
was therefore to construct a new lifeboat station to replace the existing
facility and the renovation of the Pier was considered to be
necessary to secure the long term presence of the RNLI on the
However, as the new century dawned, significant weaknesses in the lattice steelwork and
hand railings were becoming apparent and some of the side rails and seating areas
virtually rusting away. A large section of the decking at the far
end of the pier had to be removed. Restoration work required
replacing steel and timber elements from the piles upwards and was estimated to cost in excess of £3m. The pier
was not generating sufficient funds to cover the work required and,
as a privately owned pier, was not eligible for most public
Most of the funding was therefore proposed to come
from AMECO’s ambitious plans to demolish the Pier Hotel and embark
on a £39m development project comprising a new hotel,
apartments, boardwalks and a family entertainment centre. Funding support
was also anticipated from the RNLI and Welsh
Assembly grants. The project was supported by a Development
Framework document formally approved by Swansea Council. The
key theme of this document was the revitalisation of the pier and
the redevelopment of the former nightclub building and part of the
coastal approach to the Pier. The restoration and redevelopment of
the pier was also included as part of the 2007 Swansea Bay Strategy
In June 2010, a public exhibition of the development plans was
staged in the pier hotel ballroom and was generally very well
received. However, following the submission in September 2010 to
Swansea Council for planning approval, opposition began to surface
with claims that the new development would spoil the view of
In November 2010, the pier owners issued a statement saying that
the only way they could afford to restore the Swansea landmark was
by developing a hotel and apartments on the foreshore. They said
grant funding was not available and it was the "only way" to fund
In December 2010, Mr Stanley Bollom, the head of the Bollom family
who own the pier, sadly passed away. He had acquired the lease in
1936 along with the Pier Hotel and the famous penny slot
In March 2011, following worries that the pier might have to
close, the owners announced that they would keep the pier open for
a further 6 months but that this would exhaust their emergency
funds. Then in April 2011, plans for the
pier restoration, together with the construction of a new RNLI
lifeboat station, were given the green light by Swansea Council.
However, this was still dependent on funding from the main headland
development. Then in June 2011, Swansea councillors supported the
proposal for apartments and a hotel in order to finance the restoration project
and in July 2011 the Welsh Assembly Government stated that they would not object to
the full scheme. Preliminary work was then able to start in November 2011 and in June 2012
construction of the new Mumbles lifeboat station began.
August saw the arrival of the construction barge towed to the end of the pier, and the following month
it was announced that the international estate agent, Savills, had been appointed to promote the Mumbles Pier development.
A fire on the pier in October 2012 damaged part of the decking but the main structure was unaffected.
The cause of the fire was not thought to be suspicious.
Work was suspended for a time at the end of November 2012 following an injury to one of the contractors
who fell from the pier. Work recommenced following a full H&S investigation.
||Amusement Equipment Co. Ltd