THREE years to the day since the fire that all but destroyed the pier, members of the public will be given the chance to take ownership of the landmark as the rebuilding project continues.
From tomorrow (Saturday) the Community Shares Scheme goes live, making Hastings Pier the first to be offered for community ownership.
With a minimum investment of £100 to a maximum of £20,000, each shareholder has one vote regardless of the number of shares held, and the scheme is a central part of the concept of the “People’s Pier”.
Through this, Hastings Pier Charity aims to raise £500,000 within three months, £200,000 of which will go towards construction costs and £300,000 to fund visitor attractions such as a microbrewery and children’s playground.
The hope is to attract investors locally and from all over the country.
Simon Opie, chief executive officer of Hastings Pier Charity, said: “If the pier is to survive another 140 years it will be because it gets used, and that’s where community ownership is vital.
“Once renovated we’ll have a spectacular walkway above the sea but that’s all the £13.9 million pays for, long-term financial security will come from people using the pier and for that we need to offer much more than simply a seaside promenade.”
Shares can be bought from Saturday through a dedicated community shares website run by Co-operatives UK at www.microgenius.org.uk/project/hastings-pier-15.
No shares will be issued or money taken until the target amount is achieved.