A NEW pier for Redcar could be included in plans for the town's future - but the council's leader wants reassurances that the local MP will push the Government to supply the money.

The Labour leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council's Labour, George Dunning, was responding to criticism from Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales that the pier wasn't already being considered.

Mr Swales noted the authority had not included a pier in its Local Plan, which outlines planning aims for the area, and said, therefore, there was “no chance” of one being built.

Mr Swales said: “I have told the council bosses that I will fight for Government money to help build a proper pier at Redcar. But if a pier is not included in the Local Plan then there is no chance.”

He was backed by leading Liberal Democrat councillor, Chris Abbott, who said: “One thing missing from the Labour Council’s draft plan is a pier for Redcar and Lib Dems are asking residents to support the campaign to have a pier included in the Local Plan.

“It would show a commitment that the council is listening to what people in Redcar want.”

However, George Dunning, a member of the Redcar Pier Association, said the local plan was only at draft stage. He urged Mr Swales to write to the council about the issue and wanted a firm assurance the MP would lobby for Government funding for a new pier - which would be the first such structure in Britain in 56 years.

He said: “We had our other MP, Tom Blenkinsop, bringing the issue up in the House of Commons, but he was told it was extremely unlikely money would be made available.

"The message we get from Government is actually to sell assets. We’re having to make job cuts and our priority has be elsewhere, saving jobs and services, at this time.

"However, if Mr Swales is prepared to lobby for this and writes to us we would look at it. I would love there to be a traditional pier once again.”

The Redcar Pier Association was formed in 2011 and has more than 550 members who have each paid £10 to join.

Investigations have been made into the feasibility of drilling down on the same site of Coatham Pier, destroyed in 1899, which is near today’s new 80ft Redcar Beacon building.

The old Redcar Pier, a second pier in the town, was demolished in 1981.