Investors who bought shares to secure the future of Hastings Pier had the chance to talk a walk on the attraction’s completed section on Saturday (April 25).
More than 300 shareholders attended the Community Benefit Society’s first annual general meeting (AGM) at the White Rock Theatre before taking the tour.
Last year the Hastings Pier Charity share scheme attracted more than 3,000 investors, including some from as far away as Australia. More than £580,000 was raised from the shares, which were available for a six-month period.
The works to restore the pier, which total more than £14 million, will be completed later this year. But it will officially open for business on March 21 next year.
Simon Opie, chief executive officer for Hastings Pier Charity, said: “The pier must pay for itself. It has to be self-supporting, not just to ensure it stays open and well-maintained but so that it becomes a landmark attraction across the south east. We believe that to open at the beginning of winter would be setting out on the wrong foot.”
The Community Benefit Society will own and run the pier once it is open. Mr Opie added: “The success of the share scheme proves just how much the people of Hastings and the area value the pier. We had a terrific first AGM which really demonstrated the value our shareholders can bring to the project.”
Anyone wishing to view the three presentations made at the meeting, which talk through the restoration work, the community activities around the pier and The Hub, plus some of the attractions and activities planned once the pier opens, can access them from www.hpcharity.co.uk.