The owner of Eastbourne Pier has confirmed that he has bought neighbouring Hastings Pier.
Sheikh Abid Gulzar signed a deal to take ownership of Hastings Pier yesterday evening (15 June).
Mr Gulzar, who bought Eastbourne Pier in 2015, said:
“I want to assure everyone that I will be putting my heart and soul into Hastings Pier, just as I have done at Eastbourne.
“I realise how passionate people in Hastings feel about their work.
“I will work with the town’s people and the council; to make Hastings Pier a success which everyone in the town will feel proud of.
Kevin Boorman, spokesperson for Hastings Borough Council, said:
“We cannot comment on the new owner’s plans, as he has not yet shared them with us.
“We do hope that we are able to meet him very soon.
“We did meet some of the other bidders, and their plans were exciting; we are disappointed that they weren’t given the time they asked for to develop them, as they could have had a major transformational effect on the town.”
Adam Stephens of Smith and Williamson, the lead administrator has said:
“Overall, Mr Gulzar demonstrated the best immediate financial capability as well as the operational capacity and experience, including from running Eastbourne Pier.
“We have been working hard with all stakeholders to create other protections for the Pier’s future and heritage assets.
“The sale is subject to a reversion clause, which means that in the event that the Pier is resold in the next two years, there are certain provisions which are in favour of Hastings Borough Council acquiring it.
“We also want to highlight that the key heritage assets of the Pier will be preserved and put on permanent display in the Hastings Museum.”
Community group the Friends of Hastings Pier had said on Friday they had made an offer to Sheikh Abid Gulzar.
The Friends had proposed to buy the Pier from him for £15,000 more than his final offer.
The Friends have raised £477,331 of their £500,000 target, with two weeks left to go in their own crowdfunding campaign to keep Hastings Pier in community ownership.