Community group ‘sad and shocked’ by Hastings Pier sale

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

The group which has been campaigning to keep Hastings Pier in the community’s hands has spoken out after it was sold yesterday to a private investor.

It was announced late last night that Abid Gulzar, owner of Eastbourne Pier, has officially purchased the landmark.

Jess Steele, a spokesperson for Friends of Hastings Pier, said: “We are sad and shocked by the decision of the Administrators to sell our pier to Mr Gulzar as announced late last night.

“This decision was made despite our final bid being better in every way - a higher purchase price, a co-investing partnership between the community and an experienced and committed commercial operator, clear and transparent plans for immediate, transition and long term redevelopment, and an absolute commitment to good maintenance forever.

”There are a number of actions we could take next and roles that Friends of Hastings Pier could fulfill over the coming years. We are going to take the next few days to reflect and discuss these options.

“One area we will certainly be looking at is the process that should be followed when a publicly owned asset gets into financial difficulties.

“When the pier, a pioneer of community benefit societies, was put into administration the only process available was commercial administration, which can only look at the money involved and cannot take into account public interest.

“The result is that a publicly owned asset that was created by £14 million of public investment has been sold off at a bargain price to a private investor who has refused to reveal his plans in public. This cannot be right. The law needs to be changed.

“We would like once again to thank all those who have given us moral and financial support over the last few months. It has meant so much to us and came so close to keeping the People’s Pier.”

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