The new owner of Eastbourne Pier says he has already spent around £200,000 on the iconic site.
Abid Gulzar said he has had his workmen improving the site seven days a week, despite the poor weather, since he completed the purchase in the autumn.
Improvements include £15,000 on new lighting, a painting and decorating team of 10, and minor structural upgrades, including the routine strengthening of the metal beams located underneath the far end.
Mr Gulzar, chair of Lion Hotels, said, “It may be winter and the weather may be bad, but rest assured our staff are working very hard to make the pier a better place.
“I am sure that local people can already see the difference. I appreciate that when the wind and rain are here, it may not be the most attractive place, but we are still open for business, come rain or shine.
“This is my personal pleasure, but I also want it to be the pleasure of the people of Eastbourne.
“I believe that the town prefers having the pier owned by somebody local, somebody they can see on the pier seven days a week.’
Mr Gulzar says he is aware that expectations are high and he is keen to deliver but he also says people must realise that the pier must make money and he must turn it into a good business.
He said, “I know that people are watching, and I am glad they are. They can see that changes are being made and we are doing our very best for the pier. It already looks cleaner and nicer.
“But yes there are some big decisions to be made, and of course they are big business decisions. I cannot be expected to do things that are too expensive and that will lose money.
“I know various ideas have been mooted, and yes we are looking at them all, but one at a time, and we have to decide which ones will be most viable and also the most popular.
‘The improvements already made have already resulted in a huge array of social media comments congratulating us on prompt and efficient action which is helping to improve the appearance of the pier, and enhance visitor engagement and enjoyment.
“The pier must be the main focus of the seafront, and I believe that any investment aimed at improving tourism should naturally start from the point of the most iconic tourist attraction located along the seafront being the pier.”
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