Owners looking to a bright future for The Royal Pier

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The Royal Pier, Aberystwyth, was bought out of administration in September 2016, and the new owners are already looking to a prosperous future. We spoke to general manager Lee Price about the pier’s new start.

Having been in administration for 18 months, the new owners of Wales’ first ever pier are wasting no time in investing in the grade II-listed premises.

General manager Lee Price explained how the transformation is working out, particularly the focus on product:  “WeCoinslot Lee Price Royal Pier have started investment already, we have bought machines for the amusement arcade and our public house that we have.

“We have now got pushers, children’s rides, redemption units and video game machines.”

But, never out of mind is the business itself, something not lost on Price given the pier’s recent commercial experience. “The main aim is of course profit. Which we are hopeful we can do,” he reinforced.

Clearly optimistic, Price is nonetheless fully aware of challenges the pier may yet face. A process of streamlining is underway in tandem with reinvestment in order to make the most of the recent upturn in domestic tourism in the United Kingdom.

“With the rise staycation and internal tourism, we as a seaside destination should be seeing an increase in visitor numbers, and with an improved offering we are hoping that we are going to see an improvement in our delivery.”

Rises in business rates and staffing costs are a universal consideration for operators, but those with premises on piers face a raft of unique issues. The higher cost of external maintenance and reliance on favourable weather conditions are all aspects that Price noted were considered in a modernisation plan agreed with the owners, a plan already underway, in order to optimise the site for summer 2017.

“We are just trying to improve our general efficiency to make sure that we are as streamlined as we possibly can be and so that when we do see an increase in footfall we see an increase in our profitability at the same time.

“Going forward I am optimistic that the changes we are implementing are going to stand us in good stead.”


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