The owners of Fantasy Island in Ingoldmells have announced the purchase of neighbouring Skegness Pier, which has been on the market for £3m since autumn last year – but sold for more “within four weeks of launch” according to Christie & Co.
The Mellors Group have acquired Skegness Pier from previous owner Carolyn Wilkinson for a figure “in excess of the guide price”.
On the market for £3m since September of last year, the pier adds to the Mellors Group’s large portfolio of attractions, which has included neighbouring theme park Fantasy Island since 2016.
“I’ve known the pier in Skegness all my life and have long harboured an ambition to acquire the business should it ever come up for sale, so when Christie & Co were appointed, we were in touch straight away,” said James Mellors Snr, managing director of the Mellors Group. “Hopefully we’ll be as responsible guardians as the Mitchell’s and Wilkinson’s have been during their near 45-year tenure and we have plans to invest in the property as indeed we typically do with any real estate we acquire.”
While the Mellors Group won the bid, the opportunity to purchase Skegness Pier generated massive amounts of interest according to Jon Patrick, who oversaw the sales process as Christie & Co’s director of leisure and development.
“In over 35 years of selling leisure businesses, few have come close to the intensity of interest generated by this instruction which led to a competitive bidding process, multiple cash offers being received, and a sale being agreed in excess of the guide price within four weeks of launch,” he said. “This would be an incredible achievement at the best of times, but set against the current backdrop is quite remarkable and is an indicator of the underlying strength of the UK leisure market for top class assets as well perhaps an understandable strengthening of staycation interest in coast and country locations.”
Wilkinson explained that selling the pier, which had been in her family for “so many years”, was “a difficult decision to contemplate”. She was “amazed by how much interest was generated” from around the UK and Europe, but it was a bid from much closer to home that she eventually accepted.
“We wish James and the Mellors team every success and know they will do a fantastic job at the pier and continue to keep it at the forefront of all things Skegness,” she concluded.