Group raises £50k in bid to keep pier in community ownership

An aerial view of Hastings Pier. Photo by Eddie Mitchell
An aerial view of Hastings Pier. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

A small community group seeking to keep Hastings Pier in public ownership has raised £50,959 since the weekend.

Friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP) has until May 31 to raise £500,000 in order to prove its viability to GVA – the property firm appointed by administrators to handle the sale of the much-loved landmark.

James Chang, spokesman for FOHP, said: “The people of Hastings worked hard to raise over £14.2 million to rebuild the Pier, after it burned down in 2010, we think they should keep it.”

Last month, the group was told it had to raise £1 million or it would be removed from the bidding process.

However, after presenting its business plan – to keep the pier’s freehold within public ownership and lease space from a body set up to maintain the pier’s structure – in front of nearly 500 residents, the group was given more time to raise the money.

Mr Chang added: “We have put together a 21st century business plan with a bold and dynamic entertainment programme for the Pier but we need cash now to make this a reality.

“That’s why we are asking everyone, local businesses and residents, as well as national companies and donors to help us keep this iconic Pier unique and community-owned.”

Donations can be made at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fohp2018