HASTINGS PIER, which has hosted concerts by artistes such as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Jones, 10cc and Madness over the years, is to be sold to a private investor after a campaign by locals to keep it in public ownership failed.
Indian-born entrepreneur Sheikh Abid Gulzar, who already owns Eastbourne Pier 18 miles away, has purchased the landmark for a sum believed to be around £100,000.
Built in 1872, the structure was damaged by fire in 2010 and campaigners secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £12 million to restore it.
Friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP) had raised £477,000 towards purchasing and developing the pier and had delivered a three-year plan to make the pier profitable, which included a 600-capacity concert venue.
“Our plan was to build a new multi-purpose structure on it and to make the pier commercially viable,” says FOHP’s Andrew Pearce.
The pier’s original 2,000-seat pavilion became a popular music venue in the 1960s, but was closed in 2006 after storm damage.
The restored pier, which was managed by Hastings Pier Charity, consisted of a wide space that was used to stage concerts by acts including Madness, Happy Mondays and Ocean Colour Scene.
Hastings Pier Charity went into administration in November last year. The property’s sale was overseen by administrator Smith Williamson.