Portsmouth’s South Parade Pier will be finally open to the public again this weekend, after extensive refurbishment and investment totalling more than £5m.
The pier is reopening after a number of stalled attempts at revitalising the Grade II listed building,
During 2000 it was reported that the pier was costing more than £300,000 a year to maintain, despite owners Six Piers, which took over in 1999, investing more than £2 million on vital structural work. It was then sold for £275,000 to Frenash, a company run by Fred Nash and David Moore but by 2011 following the death of David Moore, ownership passed to SSP South Coast Ltd, which included Moore’s daughter, Dawn Randall. It was eventually closed for safety reasons in 2012.
The pier was put up for sale at auction but failed to reach the guide price of only £190,000. It was bought by South Parade Pier Ltd in 2015.
The owner has since been successful in securing a number of commercial partners for the pier which opens on Friday 14th April.
A spokesperson for the limited company said: “We are pleased to welcome The Harry Levy Group who will be providing a family entertainment centre at the front of the Pier. This will have the very latest in amusement redemption ticket games. The Harry Levy Group are a National operator and are excited to be a part of the regeneration of South Parade Pier and are confident that the activities they provide will bring enjoyment to all.
“The group is also delighted to have employed 12 full time and 10 part time members of staff from the Portsmouth area who will be on-hand to welcome everyone during the opening times.”
Tommy Ware, one of the owners of South Parade Pier, added: “Following an investment of over 5 million pounds, we are thrilled to announce the re-opening of the Pier. It’s great that we have been able to provide trading space for both local businesses and national companies who will be bringing much needed employment opportunities to people in the Portsmouth area.”
Agreement for the front shops and turrets are also in place and works to formally open these areas will commence shortly. Plans include an ice cream parlour, a souvenir shop, and a gourmet grilled sandwich bar to the front western entrance.
Other features like a zip wire, children’s entertainment and rides will also be added to the end of the pier over the coming weeks and months