Hastings Pier goes on market

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

Hastings Pier has been put on the market with ‘all offers to be considered’, according to a specialist real estate company.

Real estate agents GVA says it has been instructed by administrators to offer up the freehold of RIBA award-winning pier as a going concern.

Due to the pier’s unique nature, GVA say it is not putting forward a guide price and will consider ‘all offers’.

Richard Baldwin, senior director of GVA, said: “Hastings Pier represents a unique opportunity to acquire and develop a comprehensively rebuilt and renowned seaside pier in the historical town of Hastings on the Sussex coast.

“Hastings Pier has undergone a remarkable transformation, and now represents a modern, flexible, public leisure destination and venue, which retains a blend of both Victorian and modern architecture, refinement and charm.

“The pier is unique, and offers a custodian the opportunity to acquire a piece of Britain’s seaside heritage, with great potential as a leisure destination.”

The sale comes after the Hastings Pier Charity entered administration last November. The organisation had run the pier since it was rebuilt and reopened to the public in April 2016.

In November the organisation said it had a business plan, which it believed, would see it become self-financing within three years but would require further grant funding of £800,000.

However its major stakeholders – including Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund – decided they were unable to support the plan, leaving the charity unable to continue trading.

As a result Adam Stephens and Finbarr O’Connell of Smith & Williamson LLP were appointed as joint administrators on Friday, November 24.

Among those said to be interested in buying the pier are Brighton Pier owner Luke Johnson and Eastbourne Pier owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar, who expressed his interest today.

Responding to the news, Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney said: “We were very disappointed when the restored and award-winning pier went into administration late last year. The pier is an important asset to the town, and we are obviously keen to see it have a secure, long term future.

"We hope that the administrators are successful in finding a new owner for it, ideally one who recognises and develops the role of the local community in the future of the pier."