Clarence Pier boss says major seafront events like America’s Cup are costing business thousands

The main access route to Clarence Pier was shut at the weekend
The main access route to Clarence Pier was shut at the weekend
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  • Clarence Pier boss says business was down £25,000 over America’s Cup World Series weekend
  • Says current situation is ‘not sustainable’
  • But Tory culture boss dismisses criticism and says people shouldn’t be denied activities on Southsea Common
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THE boss of Southsea’s Clarence Pier says major seafront events are having a severe impact on business.

Jill Norman believes the closure of Clarence Esplanade to facilitate spectacles like the recent America’s Cup World Series are doing serious harm as it’s the main access point to her attraction.

So what we are saying is, nothing should happen on the common in order to aide her business, that we shouldn’t have any events? Should the people of Portsmouth be denied activities on the common?

Tory culture leisure and sport boss Linda Symes

The esplanade closure is required by Portsmouth City Council during big events for health and safety reasons.

In a strongly-worded letter to The News, Mrs Norman said the pier lost tens of thousands of pounds over the cup weekend.

She said: ‘All of these events have taken place at peak trading times, and the ACWS alone has cost our business in excess of £25,000 through disruption.

‘This is an unacceptable level of loss for a business that contributes significantly to the local economy and employs dozens of local people.

‘The revenues taken in the affected peak weeks are the revenues that sustain our business and employees over the lean winter months.

‘This is not sustainable.’

She adds: ‘We are in favour of hosting such positive events, but not at a time when there is a negative impact to the otherwise buoyant summertime economy.’

It comes after Blue Reef Aquarium criticised Team Origin, the organisers of the Portsmouth World Series, for telling ticket holders they could visit for free – even though bosses insist that’s not the impression they gave.

Tory culture, leisure and sport boss Cllr Linda Symes hit back at the criticism.

She said: ‘So what we are saying is, nothing should happen on the common in order to aide her business, that we shouldn’t have any events? Should the people of Portsmouth be denied activities on the common?

‘The seafront would have been deserted this weekend if the America’s Cup had not happened.’

Tens of thousands of spectators watched Sir Ben Ainslie and his Portsmouth-based sailing team win the regatta last weekend.

Meanwhile, local residents are angry as a huge stretch of the seafront and the common remained closed yesterday.

Work is being done to dismantle the entire World Series event site and organisers say it could take until the end of the week to complete.

The council says high winds have prevented work happening quicker to enable the re-opening of the whole seafront.

Sandi Logan, of Southsea, said: ‘I’m really cross. I was a bit put out I couldn’t access the common before, though I understood why.

‘But I knew I would then have a day when I could then start using it again.

‘There have been no notices, no information.’