Iconic UK seaside attraction could close – leaving tourists devastated

A single of Britain’s most iconic seaside points of interest could quickly shut, leaving locals and holidaymakers devastated.

Hastings Pier has been a well-known vacationer attraction on the south coastline due to the fact it very first opened to the community in 1872.


Iconic seaside attraction Hastings Pier may shortly shut down
Sheikh Abid Gulzar, who owns the pier, has seen his company go into liquidation


Sheikh Abid Gulzar, who owns the pier, has viewed his firm go into liquidation
Locals near Hastings Pier never wanted it sold in the first place


Locals in the vicinity of Hastings Pier by no means needed it offered in the initially spot

It has hosted live shows by the Rolling Stones, the Who and Jimi Hendrix and served as a landing web site for refugees all through the Second Entire world War.

But the East Sussex attraction could now be compelled to shut right after racking up enormous money owed.

The pier was purchased in 2018 by controversial hotelier, Sheikh Abid Gulzar, who drives a distinctive gold Mercedes, wears significant gold rings and is known as Mr Goldfinger.

Gulzar’s business, Lions Hastings Pier Ltd, has gone into liquidation owing up to £300,000.

Amid the creditors are gasoline and electric providers, former workers, a bank, a council and numerous compact corporations.

It is recognized the business also owes additional than £30,000 to Hastings Borough Council for unpaid business premiums.

The huge credit card debt means the foreseeable future of the 150-12 months-outdated pier has been thrown into doubt and the council has stepped in to check out to allay fears.

Badly weakened by hearth in 2010, it was saved many thanks to a £12.4million income injection from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Indian-born Sheikh Gulzar, 78, who also owns Eastbourne Pier, bought the pier for a knockdown rate of £60,000 in 2018.

He brought about further more anger when he closed the pier for various months to have out “repairs.”

The pier reopened in 2019 but has accumulated enormous debts considering that the Covid pandemic.

In the last number of months individual bankruptcy notices have also been filed in opposition to three inns owned by Mr Gulzar.

Peter Wheeler, an engineer who served restore the pier to award-successful ailment pursuing the 2010 hearth, took Mr Gulzar’s firm to an work tribunal.

Along with his engineer assistant, Francesca Hill, they sued him and were awarded £31,000 and £45,000 for the “disgraceful treatment” they ended up subjected to.

He explained: “Hastings pier is a focal issue for the entire city and my only worry is I would like to see it managed to the condition it was in 2017 and for it to go on to be operate viably so that guests can appreciate it.

“It is basically not fantastic ample to be equipped to established up a business, rack up enormous debts and then to liquidate.

“Those identified to continuously do this ought to be banned from acting as organization directors since it is just mistaken.”

Mr Wheeler explained: “Hastings pier is not remaining taken care of thoroughly and for the good of the town I would like to see it becoming adequately operate.”

He claimed he, and primarily Francesca Hill, have been subjected to “disgraceful treatment” by Mr Gulzar’s business and claimed it was not likely they would at any time see a solitary penny from the award manufactured by the court.

In its 145-year historical past the pier has burned down twice, most not too long ago struggling significant injury in 2010.

Lovers of the pier expressed disappointment on the net with some saying “it should really hardly ever have been sold” to Mr Gulzar in the 1st location.

An additional reported it was now just a “big plank” and reminisced about the times he made use of to expend lots of satisfied several hours as a baby on the pier.

James Chang, spokesperson for the Close friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP) explained: “Our group have been looking at the continual demise of Hastings Pier in excess of the past few a long time with raising problem. 

“We have consistently flagged routine maintenance issues with Hastings Borough Council and our local MP both of those of whom have assured us that they experienced approached the house owners of Hastings Pier to move on our issues. 

“What we would like to see is an owner who is fully commited to investing revenue in Hastings Pier to make it a vibrant neighborhood place for all to appreciate and preserve the Grade II structure for potential generations.”

A spokesperson for Hastings Borough Council said: “Hastings Pier is an vital asset for our city. We are aware that inhabitants and visitors are worried about it subsequent the latest information about its possessing corporation likely into administration.

“We are adhering to these updates, notably as the council is a creditor, but the Pier is privately owned so there are limitations to what action the council can acquire.”

Mr Gulzar mentioned: “I want to assure the folks of Hastings and further than that we will be holding the pier open.

“We are trying to perform with Hastings Borough Council organizing division so that we can to keep on the restoration of the pier and get the required permissions to rebuild what was missing in the fireplace in 2010.

“If we can do that then we can bring in far more organizations, bars, restaurants, fish and chip shops to the pier and it will develop into economically feasible. We have a extensive phrase approach but we require the help.”

Hundreds of protestors had previously gathered to protect the pier


Hundreds of protestors had beforehand collected to defend the pier
Locals and tourists have voiced how devastating the news was


Locals and tourists have voiced how devastating the news was

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