Opening on Monday! Owner says he’ll give ‘heart and soul’ to make pier a success

Hastings Pier will reopen on Monday according to its owner.

And Sheikh Abid Gulzar has reassured the town that he and his team remain 100 per cent committed to the town’s Victorian, award-winning pier.

This morning he has asked the community ‘to bear with him’ in his bid to make the iconic site a huge success.

Mr Gulzar said: “I was, am and will always be very confident about the successful future of Hastings Pier. We have advertised both for staff and people interested in hiring our units and we were swamped by the response, which is very pleasing.

“I understand and respect that the people of Hastings want to see the pier open again none more so than I.

“It has been a difficult period but the time for negativity has gone and I must look forward to making this pier a success.

“I said when I bought it that I would make it a success and I will. Make no mistake, sustaining the pier was never going to be easy but I was, and remain, happy to take on the challenge.”

Mr Gulzar says he was disappointed at the weekend to hear what he describes as ‘comments of concern’ from local MP Amber Rudd and Hastings Borough Council Peter Chowney, he says: “It was under their watch that the pier went into administration in the first place.

“I respect them both and their positions, but I really want to hear how they can assist me. They must realise the real challenges of making Hastings Pier viable.

“I want to hear from people who want to join me in making the pier work, not those who just want to moan.”

He says of Eastbourne Pier, which he bought three years ago that it is ‘beautiful’ and the town ‘loves it’.

“I politely remind people of the troubled past of Hastings Pier and the fact that it went into administration,” says Mr Gulzar.

“Everyone must understand this. The business model of Hastings Pier before I bought it was very poor, that is obvious to everyone.

“To this very day, I cannot believe what happened to the £14 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. But that is all in the past. I want to focus on the present and indeed the future.

“The pier is reopening and it will be there for the people to visit, enjoy and also to respect. I will put my heart and soul into making the pier a success.”

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4 thoughts on “Opening on Monday! Owner says he’ll give ‘heart and soul’ to make pier a success

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  1. When when when will it reopen? Mr Gulzar has had more then his share of goodwill. Unfortunately I think the people of Hastings are all ‘Goodwilled Out’. Actions speak louder then words. We’ve had excuses all winter and nothing has been done. Mr Gulzars reputation unfortunately speaks for itself and precedes him. His track record managing finances and upkeep of properties piers etc is unfortunately not a good one.

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  2. Anyone who may have read the Sunday edition of The Guardian this week will have discovered an in depth article about the pier and the Administrators behaviour. According to this excellent article a further potential bidder, Boxpark, was ready to invest £10m and they told the administrators they would require six weeks to carry out due diligence to find out if there were any horrors in the structure etc. Despite Boxpark giving this matter their urgent attention by cutting down the usual time they require to make further important enquiries, the administrators refused and therefore Boxpark made no bid. Surely this entire affair needs some indepth investigation with legal advice obtained. Why would the administrators refuse to hold on whilst the Boxpark people made their urgent investigations? And allow this man to have out pier for £60k? We need some answers here.

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  3. Now let me think next Monday. Isn’t that April Fool’s Day? A rather ironic date to reopen the plank of piers. Let’s put it this way, how many of us will go to William Hills and put a bet on it.

    Mr Sheikh needs to sit back and try to think why he gets so many critical comments about him and many facetious remarks too. He leaves himself wide open and considering how long he has been in the UK, you would have thought he had learned some decorum of how to conduct business and general public relations.

    The preoccupation of his for Lions and all that glitters must be Gold, right down to the car he drives is quite acceptable in specific parts of the globe. But lets face it for most of us, its just a bit too ostentatious for this part of the world.

    And here he is blaming Amber Rudd and Cllr Chowney for the Administration of the pier. Not only is that incorrect but disingenuous when neither had anything to do with the management and charity who was running it at that time. As far as I understand it was the charity’s financial mismanagement of it as the cause of where it is today.

    The first commentator has made a pretty accurate assessment of the current situation.

    On a foot note about this pier. When you look back over the years, ever since HBC relinquished ownership to ominous Panama registered company Ravenclaw, it has been a roller coaster of disasters and issues. In the case here, I think we can safely say, “The past is history – the future is a mystery.”

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  4. Funny someone mentions April Fools Day – because on the front page of our local paper there in bold print this announcement about the reopening of our pier tells us to turn to Page 3 for further information – but there is nothing to be seen on Page 3 about anything to do with the pier…Gremlins or what.

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