If new kiosks get the green light, the owner of Eastbourne Pier has indicated he will probably fill them with more arcade machines.
The owner of Eastbourne Pier has revealed he is likely to be in the market for more coin-op amusement equipment in 2018.
It comes after Sheikh Abid Gulzar unveiled new plans to replace the Victorian kiosks that were burnt down in the 2014 fire that destroyed around a third of the south coast attraction.
He has applied to Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning department to build identical kiosks in the middle of the pier’s boardwalk, which leads to the main retail area of gift shops, the glass blowing centre, the Victorian tea room and nightclub.
Although Gulzar said that he is not yet one hundred percent certain what he would put into the new buildings were they to be given planning permission, he suggested it would probably be more amusement machines, telling the Eastbourne Herald that he needed to do something that would continue to generate revenue for the pier.
Gulzar commented: “Eastbourne Pier isn’t like Hastings Pier, which is a charity and has a lot of charitable money ploughed into it.”
“The proposed application is for like for like replacement of the burnt units sadly destroyed in the fire of July 2014.
“This is a business and we need income so we can continue making Eastbourne Pier the best in the country.”
If Gulzar is given the go-ahead and follows through with his intentions for the kiosks, they would be the fourth new amusements area since he bought the pier from Cuerden Leisure in November 2015.
The 2014 blaze had left the pier without any amusements after it left the Blue Room family entertainment centre a burnt-out shell, which was dismantled a few months later.
In June 2016 they made a triumphant return when Gulzar opened three units – at the pier’s entrance, next to the Victorian tea room and a third by its Waterfront bar – incorporating a combined total of over 40 machines.
Gulzar had been sceptical about bringing amusements back to the pier when he took over, but admitted that their reintroduction had proved him wrong.
At the time he commented: “There are more than 40 machines and they are proving very popular. We are very pleased with the response.
“I wasn’t sure if an amusement arcade was the right thing for Eastbourne Pier but of course it is.
“We are providing people – young and old – with entertainment, and this is making the pier traditional. It’s what people expect when they come onto the pier.”
Gulzar is likely to make further planning applications in the New Year, including plans for the opened decked area at the front of the pier and a replacement for the iconic clock at the front of the attraction.