From: Sheikh Abid Gulzar
The current plight of Hastings Pier, I hope, makes people in Eastbourne aware just how challenging it is to make a pier work.
But it can work and it can be successful – and I trust the town’s citizens realise and understand that.
For those who are unaware, the charity that runs Hastings Pier has revealed it made insufficient money this summer to cover costs and is making staff redundant. The CEO is also leaving in a major shake-up.
This is a pier that received an £11.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore it. This is also a pier which earlier this year was voted Pier of the Year by the National Piers Society.
Let me remind everyone that Eastbourne Pier has not received a lottery grant worth millions of pounds.
In fact, we’ve only had a small miserly proportion of the £2 million ex-PM David Cameron gave our town after the fire in July 2014.
I’ve said it many times before but why on earth is the council – and other groups involved in the project – spending 60 per cent of the £2 million on building a new restaurant? That money should be going to Eastbourne Pier.
I worry that the council and other groups don’t understand what is involved in owning and running a pier.
In truth, we get very little support. Perhaps those people should stretch their neck, look 25 miles and see what is happening in Hastings.
Will Hastings Pier close? What an eyesore that would be for the seaside resort.
I often wonder what would have happened to Eastbourne Pier if I hadn’t stepped in?
My guess is it would be closed – and what damage that would have done to our lovely town.