Hastings MP Amber Rudd has welcomed the reopening of Hastings Pier.
The popular landmark reopened this morning (Monday, June 25), ten days after is was purchased by Sheikh Abid Gulzar.
Taking to Twitter, Ms Rudd said: “Great to see Hastings Pier open for business once again. I hope everyone there today enjoys the sunshine and the fantastic views from our pier.”
Ms Rudd previously said she would call for a meeting after the community raised concerns about Mr Gulzar’s purchase.
On Monday, she met with Mr Gulzar who said he would ‘never charge’ for entrance and was ‘eager to engage with the community’.
After the meeting, Ms Rudd said: “I was very encouraged to meet Mr Gulzar and hear most importantly that our beautiful pier will always remain free to visit.
“I welcome Mr Gulzar’s commitment to work closely with the community and I am reassured that our pier will be able to enjoy a sustainable and successful future.
“Mr Gulzar told me that he had been disappointed that Hastings Borough Council had refused his offer to meet ahead of the process concluding, but that he looked forward to working with them in the future.
“I understand certain members of the community will be disappointed with this result, but I urge them not to make personal comments against the administrators who have overseen the bidding process.
“I have asked the administrator to publish information on the process to reassure everyone that the process was appropriately and professionally handled.”
After reopening Hastings Pier at 10am this morning, Mr Gulzar said: “Let’s talk up Hastings and talk up Hastings Pier.
“I don’t want to hear all the moaning and negativity.
“I don’t have time for that.
“I have time for positive thinking, doing things, making things happen, and that is my promise to you all.”
Mr Gulzar said he was keen to meet with council leader Peter Chowney once he returns from his holiday and plans to invest in the pier in the coming months.
He added: “But it must be done sensibly, with thought, and for the good of the pier and the town.
“And of course I will engage with the people of Hastings.”