Sussex Pier Sold to Private Business Owner Despite Mass Local Protests
Locals had come agonisingly close to raising sufficient funds.
Administrators for Hastings Pier in Sussex have sold the structure to a private businessman.
This comes after a series of protests held by group The Friends of Hastings Pier.
They had wanted to buy the pier in order to keep it out of private hands.
However, they fell just short of the £500,000 needed, only amassing £430,000.
They demanded more time in order to reach this goal, but were not granted it.
Sheikh Abid Gulzar picked up the pier which had fallen into administration last November.
He currently owns Eastbourne Pier, and is gathering a monopoly within the Sussex area.
Smith and Williamson, the administrators, spoke out about their reasons for selling to Gulzar: “Mr Gulzar demonstrated the best immediate financial capability as well as the operational capacity and experience, including from running Eastbourne Pier.”
The Friends of Hastings Pier were less optimistic about the decision: “We are very sad and disappointed at the decision.”
They also believe that the process was not effectively carried out: “The whole process has been really rushed by the administrators. It didn’t seem like [the process] was really transparent.”
Gulzar is not a wholly popular figure. He attracted much criticism from Eastbourne locals for banning dogs, fishing and picnics from their pier.
It is so far unclear as to what Hastings locals plan to do in response to this decision.
They have stated that they “shall regroup to consider [our] next steps”, suggesting that this saga may not be over yet.