“A popular amusement arcade must surely be at the heart of any successful pier.”
Walking on Hastings Pier this afternoon it was clear that the amusement arcade is ready to open its doors to paying customers.
Through the windows of the former visitor centre it was clear to see the machines were all plugged in and switched on with lights flashing ready to entice the public to come on to the pier and spend their money.
The machines for the long-awaited ‘family entertainment centre’ were seen arriving earlier this week and have now been installed.
Pier owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar said: “We promised there would be amusements on the pier, and I am delighted to say they have… arrived.
“Sited in the centre building, which used to be the Visitors’ Centre, I am convinced they will be very popular,” he said. Adding: “A popular amusement arcade must surely be at the heart of any successful pier.”
Hastings Borough Council’s planning committee approved the application for the family amusement arcade at its meeting on May 1st.
During the meeting, several councillors made the point that the new use of the building would provide additional income for the pier and help secure its long term future. West St Leonards Councillor Matthew Beaver said: “Whether you agree with what is going on the pier or not, the pier has to self-finance itself.
“If it doesn’t then it stops functioning as a pier and we get back to the possibility of it being closed again, which I don’t think does anyone any good.
“If you go to Eastbourne Pier or you go to Brighton Pier, the one thing that attracts people are the amusements.”
Not so attractive for pier customers this afternoon were locked toilets while others were marked ‘out of order’. When one member of Hastings In Focus staff tried to buy a drink at the bar she was told by a member of the pier’s bar staff said: “It’s too hot… I wish everyone would just go home.”