Community group needs further £430,000 to purchase Hastings Pier

Hastings Pier. Photo by Eddie Mitchell
Hastings Pier. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

A group of residents bidding to keep Hastings Pier in public ownership said they have just over a week to raise the required £500,000.

Friends of Hastings Pier has raised a total of £71,943 since it was given an extension by the pier’s administrators Adam Stephens on, May 11, to raise the required funds.

The group has until May 31 – a deadline group set itself – to raise the remaining £428,057.

The group’s business plan involves keeping the pier’s freehold within public ownership by partnering with a commercial operator, which would run the ‘top’ of the pier and lease space from a body set up to maintain the pier’s structure.

A spokesman for FOHP said: “In line with our commitment to a separation between the ‘guardian freeholder’ and ‘commercial operator’ in order to protect the pier forever, we are now suggesting that Foreshore Trust becomes the ultimate freeholder and awards a 150-year full repairing peppercorn lease to FOHP Trust which amounts to a ‘virtual freehold’.

“FOHP Trust will then lease the ‘top’ (deck and above) to a commercial operating company in which it owns 90 per cent of the shares. This is an excellent way of spreading risks and responsibilities to where they are best managed, allocating the commercial responsibility to the operator, the delivery and fundraising responsibility to FOHP Trust, and the long-term ownership responsibility to a stable charity that already owns all the rest of the foreshore.”

Adam Stephens and GVA – the property firm appointed to handle the sale – said there would not be a sales announcement this week.

A total of 658 people have supported the FOHP campaign. You can do so by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fohp2018