At ten o’clock this morning the gates of Hastings Pier swung open for the first time in over a week and within minutes the public were heading out on to the pier.
And it was business as usual as the maintenance team headed below deck to to carry out its day-to-day maintenance, while on the deck of the pier a group of overseas students enjoyed the uninterrupted panoramic view of the town’s seafront.
The new owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar and his team were there and will be on site at the pier for the rest of the week. While talking to Hastings In Focus Mr Gulzar broke off to speak to a number of well-wishers who came to offer their congratulations and offer their support, one former shareholder approached him saying, “…are you who I think you are?”
Mr Gulzar told Hastings In Focus this morning that he has no time for negativity. He says he wants to engage with the people of Hastings, wants to meet with the leader of Hastings Borough Council as soon as possible and will make ‘sensible’ investment in the pier in the coming months.
“Let’s talk up Hastings and talk up Hastings Pier. I have time for positive thinking, doing things, making things happen, and that is my promise to you all.”
Investment he said: “…must be done sensibly, with thought, and for the good of the pier and the town.”
Meanwhile Friends of Hastings Pier (FoHP) has announced the FOHP Trust is now incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and its directors are James Chang, Lesley Davis, Jess Steele and Adam Wide.
There will be elections for new directors within six months and all FoHP members will be eligible to stand for election and to vote for directors.
On the groups Facebook account it explains that the role of the FoHP Trust is to be in position to hold assets and sign contracts which the wider unincorporated association could not do and the job of its directors is to uphold the principles developed at the inaugural meeting on Feb 3rd that were voted on by the people who attended the public meeting on April 23rd.