The new owner of Hastings Pier Sheikh Abid Gulzar said the popular landmark will reopen on Friday – a week after he completed his purchase.
Mr Gulzar, who also owns Eastbourne Pier, met with administrators on Friday (June 15) to complete the paperwork ahead of his purchase.
Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Gulzar said he will put his ‘own colour’ into Hastings Pier.
He also discussed whether he would ban fishing or dogs from the pier after making similar decisions as owner of Eastbourne Pier.
Mr Gulzar’s arrival as the owner of Hastings Pier was met with mixed emotions over the weekend. Hastings Borough Council offered a bittersweet reaction before the leader of the council Peter Chowney called it ‘disappointing’.
Friends of Hastings Pier – a community group that raised more than £477,000 to purchase the pier – called Mr Gulzar’s purchase ‘sad’.
However, the National Lottery Fund and the National Pier Society both welcomed Mr Gulzar’s arrival.
When asked whether he was surprised by some of the negative comments he had received since buying the pier, Mr Gulzar referred to Jesus Christ and those ‘who were against him’ when he was alive before asking residents to look at Hastings Pier as a positive and to ‘get the negativity out’.
Video: Justin Lycett