Time is ticking away with £100,000 still needed

Hastings Pier was back on TV at the weekend as BBC reporter Charlie Rose came to town town get an update on progress.

And he heard good news about progress towards raising the money that gives Friends of Hastings Pier a fighting chance to keep the award winning Victorian structure under community control when the administrators of Hastings Pier Charity finally decide who the new owners should be.

Fund raisers received a major boost on Friday when it was revealed that a company called Igloo Regeneration had put £300,000 into the kitty. Over the weekend a concerted effort of handing out fliers and talking to people has seen the amount in the Crowdfunding account grow to just short of £400,000. For the crowdfunding campaign to be a success it must achieve its target of £500,000 by 9pm on Friday or Friends of Hastings Pier will get nothing and all their work will have been in vain.

In a press release issued at the weekend James Chang a spokesman said for FoHP said: “we have only three days left to raise £100,000 through crowdfunding to keep Hastings Pier in community ownership.

“We have raised nearly £400,000 from 800 supporters in only four weeks. The response from the community has been incredible and it has been heartwarming to hear directly from people how much the pier means to them.

“This is why we want to keep the ‘People’s Pier’ exactly that, a place that is shaped and owned by the people who love it and made it possible.”

Hastings Pier… has become a national beacon of community ownership, after becoming one of the first community benefit societies. We are pioneers of community ownership in Hastings, but we are also a warning of what can happen if these projects are not properly funded in their second phase, and when commercial administration processes are applied to community enterprises.

“We are proud that the people of Hastings have come together yet again, put together a viable plan to invest in a new, visionary building for the pier and to make it a 21st century visitor destination. We are proud that once again community support and dogged determination have got us so far, within such tight timeframes. It would be such a shame to fall now, when we are so close to the finish line. We know the ‘People’s Pier’ can succeed with just a bit more support and urge everyone to donate and share our story.”

Igloo Regeneration, the business that has pledged £300,000 says about itself: “We are the UK’s leading responsible real estate business working with investors, communities, local authorities and landowners who want to make the world better one place at a time. Igloo believes in doing well by doing good. We fund, deliver and animate great places. Great for people and for the planet.

“We always play close attention to the fabric and identity of the places we create.”

  • To find our more about Igloo Regeneration follow this link http://www.iglooregeneration.co.uk

Writing on the Crowdfunding website Yvonne van der Giesen says: I’m not a local but have fond memories of Hastings Pier. I try to visit Hastings as often as I can and the pier is always the first thing I visit. It’s where I reconnect and feel most at peace.” While Mark Wickens says: “Wonderful Pier, volunteers and staff. Iconic destination needs saving for the people of Hastings – good luck.”

Jamie Thwaites says: “I was born in Hastings in 1978, a lot my fondest memories are all from Hastings Pier. I spent countless hours on the pier with my grandmother… In her memory I have the old pier tattooed on my left arm.
I would love for the pier to stay with the public, this place is about creating memories not just money.”

On woman campaigning to raise the cash went above and beyond the call of duty when someone bumped in to her outside the pier and knocked her over Cecily Harends sustained a bang on the head and a broken arm for her efforts, undeterred she said the following day, ” I just wish I could be out there again today!”

As this stage of the campaign draws to its conclusion it is believed there are only two serious bidders in contention to take over the pier, one is the bit being championed by FoHP the other bid is from Sheikh Abid Gulzar the owner of Eastbourne Pier. Another potential bidder misunderstood to have visited the pier two weeks ago but subsequently decided not to proceed with an offer.

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