Controversial businessman Sheikh Abid Gulzar has likened the pier to an orphaned baby a year after buying it – and has vowed to be its ‘mother and father’.
Sunday (October 30) marks 365 days since he bought the landmark from Cuerden Leisure, months after flames tore through it on July 30, 2014..
“I am on the pier seven days a week, working, smiling, making people happy,” he said.
“The figures for 2016 are up on last year - we have had a very good summer season but it’s a long journey.
“I know we have to make the pier profitable and that is a challenge for us. But Eastbourne Pier will be the best - in fact I think it is probably already the best.”
“I am in it for the long run. Eastbourne Pier has become the love of my life. And I will be looking after it with my heart and soul.
“This was a baby without parents. Now I am the father, the mother, and I am going to look after it.”
Sheikh Gulzar says in the past 12 months he has been clearing rubbish from the site, opening new amusement arcades, improving the Victorian Tea Rooms, relaunching the Ocean Suite on the end of the pier, and general maintenance.
“My workmen are on this site seven days a week, whether it be painting, cleaning or generally making the pier look more inviting the public.
“I am in it for the long run. Eastbourne Pier has become the love of my life. And I will be looking after it with my heart and soul.”