Hastings Pier has today been sold to a private entrepreneur.
Sheikh Abid Gulzar, from Eastbourne Pier, met with administrators on Friday morning (June 15) to sign contracts and complete the purchase.
Speaking after he announced the deal this evening, Mr Gulzar 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 already work seven days a week and this I will continue, with equal emphasis on Hastings and Eastbourne, as well as my three hotels.
“I love Eastbourne Pier and I now also love Hastings Pier.
“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.
“I love Hastings, it seems a great place, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be at the heart of the community there.
“I can assure everyone I will be putting a great deal of time and energy into Hastings.”
On Wednesday evening, employees of Hastings Pier held a protest gig which was attended by an enthusiastic crowd as rumours circulated of Mr Gulzar’s purchase.
During the protest, Jess Steele from Friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP) – a group of residents seeking to keep Hastings Pier in public ownership – said the race to buy the pier was ‘not over yet’.
The FOHP group was given until the end of the month to raise £500,000. As Mr Gulzar was announced as the new owner of Hastings Pier, FOHP had raised £461,836.
Shortly after the pier had been sold to Mr Gulzar, FOHP took to Twitter and said: “We shall regroup to consider next steps.”
To read what Hastings Borough Council had to say about the decision, click here.
To read what the joint administrators of Hastings Pier Charity had to say about the decision, click here.
To read why the administrators chose Sheikh Gulzar as Hastings Pier’s new owner, click here.