Despite Eastbourne being one of many British seaside resorts hit by recent economic uncertainty, plans for a pier extension are back underway. Owner Abid Gulzar has declared that pleasure cruisers will be docking at the landmark by summer.
Eastbourne Pier owner Abid Gulzar has reiterated plans to construct a jetty extension to the landmark edifice, despite plans being delayed since 2015.
With the pier set to enter its 150th year in 2020, Gulzar announced the addition will be completed by this summer, allowing pleasure boats to dock alongside.
“It is something that has been spoken about since I took over the pier in 2015. We have gradually improved Eastbourne Pier bit by bit, month by month, and I’m very pleased with it.
“We are receiving great support from the town and the pier is busy. It may still be winter but of course we have had some nice weather and people have come onto the pier. Now the time has come to take forward the jetty plan.The contract is signed and work should be underway soon.”
The current plans involve a two-level jetty, connected by a staircase, which will facilitate pleasure crafts running day trips along the coast from the pier. Once work begins, it is hoped to be completed in 12 weeks.
Gulzar, who bought the pier for an undisclosed sum in 2015, stated the Eastbourne business community has been badly affected during the “difficult time pre-Brexit,” but hoped further pier redevelopment will boost the local economy.
“We heard two weeks ago of the sad demise of Ellis Building Contractors in Eastbourne. There has been other prominent high street businesses going under.”
“It’s now also common knowledge that not all of the restaurants who said they would be coming to The Beacon will now be.”
“Let’s make no mistake, business is tough for everyone at the moment. But I am proud that I continue to invest in Eastbourne and East Sussex, employing more than 150 people at our busiest times of the year.”
When refurbishments to the pier were first announced in November 2015, more than 100 residents joined Gulzar at a specially organised question and answer session to discuss development plans.
Calls to restore the old theatre venue and build an ice rink were made in addition to launching day trips from the pier to Beachy Head, with Gulzar immediately beginning a six month period of structural refurbishment.
“I am very serious about this pier,” said Gulzar at the time.“I love it very much and I want to do big things with it. I want it to be the centre of our lovely town.”