Hastings Pier owner reveals plans for 2019

Sheikh Abid Gulzar pictured with Hastings Pier
Sheikh Abid Gulzar pictured with Hastings Pier

The owner of Hastings Pier has revealed his plans for 2019, which include traditional arcade machines.

In a meeting with Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd on Friday, Sheikh Abid Gulzar referenced his intentions to open food outlets and a gift shop on the popular attraction.

He was meeting with the new Work and Pensions Secretary to update her on repairs being made following a fire on Saturday.

The pier has remained closed since the fire – caused by an electrical fault – broke out in the restaurant.

Mr Gulzar said: “Given that the rebuilding of the restaurant was only two years ago, by the previous owners, this should not have occurred and needed a full investigation.

He added: “We have had a very successful five months since taking the pier over and this was an unfortunate incident.

“My staff acted very quickly and the fire officers were very helpful and the damage was minimised.

“We will be back open as soon as possible.”

Earlier on Friday, the Hastings Pier Facebook page hinted it may reopen tomorrow when it said: “Saturday December 1 – open from 9am. See you then.”

Saturday’s fire

East Sussex Fire and Rescue was called to reports of a fire on Hastings Pier at 11.12am on Saturday before it was evacuated.

Station Commander Dan Channon said: “The staff have done a fantastic job. They noticed the fire alarms going off and recognised an electrical rubber burning smell.

“The pier was evacuated in a matter of minutes. Our crews turned up and deployed two breathing apparatus.

“Because of the glass facade of the cafe, we had good view of the fire and we quickly went in and dealt with it. It was extinguished fairly quickly.

“The cause, subject to our investigation, is that an accidental electrical fault in the wiring caused the fire. It started behind the wall panel, before it spread up the wall. But, with our intervention, we have managed to stop it where it is.

“There was minimal damage, a very good evacuation by the staff and the procedures worked very well.”

Mr Gulzar praised the emergency services for their ‘thoroughly professional job’.

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