A local hotelier has revealed his interest in buying the fire-ravaged and iconic Eastbourne Pier.
Sheikh-Abid Gulzar, who owns the Mansion and Albany hotels along Eastbourne seafront, has met with the pier’s owners to discuss the possibility of the purchase, but has said he “needs some more answers” before progress is made.
Pier owners Cuerden Leisure said last month, on the first anniversary of the devastating fire, it was considering its options regarding the pier after Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee refused permission to install temporary children’s rides on the pier.
Mr Gulzar, who is also chairman of Lion Hotels, which includes the Boship Lions Farm Hotel in Hailsham, said the pier is a great asset to Eastbourne and who owns it next is crucial to the town’s economy.
He said: “The pier has lots of problems and lots of major works which have to be done. It does a need a lot of love, of that there is absolutely no doubt.
“I would be interested in a project which I can put my heart and mind in to. If I am given the chance, I would want to know a lot more before we do a deal. It is a big white elephant and you have to know exactly what you are buying.
“I know sometimes I may shock people with my views but I always speak from the heart and I always say what I believe is the best for people.
“If I was to take over the pier it would be an amazing asset to Eastbourne - but let me be clear, we are a long way from this at the moment.
“I thought when I tried to buy the Cavendish Hotel recently that I would be successful, but you never know what may happen around you, and I didn’t succeed with that one.
“I love Eastbourne and Hailsham, I care passionately about the people, and I will always try to do my best, whether that is supporting local charities or supporting the town’s economy.”
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