The new owner of Hastings Pier Sheikh Abid Gulzar has affirmed his dedication to the award-winning structure and a willingness to work with local authority to best support the town.
Gulzar, who also owns Eastbourne Pier, took to local press writing an open letter in response to a number of concerns that had been raised regarding his most recent purchase.
“First, I want to say how delighted I am to have bought Hastings Pier. I am 100 percent committed to making it the success it should be, and I will work seven days a week to achieve that,” he said.
The sale of the pier after an unsuccessful period in public ownership had drawn criticism from some quarters but now the conversation must be switched to that of future plans, commented the new owner.
A clear failing of the pier’s previous ownership was the inability to turn it into a sustainable business entity, something that Gulzar will seek to address.
“Hastings Pier has to be profitable and run as a business. That is very obvious and something I fear lacking in the past.”
“I am keen to meet with the council leader Peter Chowney once he returns from his holiday. His comments in the Observer about the sale were negative but this was more about the administrators than myself. Let me say publicly I am happy to work with Mr Chowney and Hastings Borough Council for the good of Hastings,” he added.
Gulzar closed his letter with reference to a number of individuals who had written, plu a rallying call to the south coast town: “D. Burton from St Leonards wrote that I must invest in the pier, and of course that must be the case. But it must be done sensibly, with thought, and for the good of the pier and the town. Observer comment said I must keep my promise to engage with the local community. Quite right. My record of working with charities and local people in Eastbourne is proof of that. I will engage with the people of Hastings but let me end with one clear message: Let’s talk up Hastings and talk up Hastings Pier. I don’t want to hear all the moaning and negativity. I don’t have time for that. I have time for positive thinking, doing things, making things happen, and that is my promise to you all.”