New South Parade Pier owners urged to reveal their funds

Campaigners have wished South Parade Pier's new owners luck. Picture: Shamus Roster
Campaigners have wished South Parade Pier's new owners luck. Picture: Shamus Roster
Picture: Stephen Kelly/PA Wire

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CAMPAIGNERS have wished the new owners of South Parade Pier luck – but have urged them to reveal if they have got the cash to restore it.

The Southsea venue was bought yesterday by a consortium of business owners including Tommy Ware after months of uncertainty over when the sale would happen.

Contracts had been exchanged with the previous owners Fred Nash and Dawn Randall last year.

South Parade Trust, which was raising awareness of the need to fix the pier, hopes Mr Ware and his team will stick to their word and reopen the pier in 2015 – but remain sceptical about the amount of cash available.

But supporters of the new owners say it is none of the trust’s business how much money a private investor has.

Leon Reis, trust chairman, said: ‘We would love for Tommy Ware to come up with the best plan in the world and restore the pier to its former glory.

‘That would be great for him and for everybody.

‘The only thing we question is we have never seen how the sums add up and we still don’t. If they can show us and the public how the sums add up, it’s a different matter.

‘The consortium’s mistake all along has been to block it and not give proper information about funding.’

Nick Courtney, founder of The South Parade Pier Supporters’ Group, which backs the new owners and has 1,776 members, said: ‘It’s none of Leon’s business how much money anyone has got.

‘To go and ask a private investor how much money they have is rude.

‘I’m extremely positive about the pier’s future.’

Mr Reis said a meeting will be held to determine the trust’s future.

The cost of the deal is unknown.

Portsmouth City Council has issued a repairs order demanding work be done to bring it up to a safe standard.

A statement issued on behalf of the owners said: ‘Our intentions remain to reopen as much of the pier to the public as early as possible in 2015.

‘We would like to thank the people of Portsmouth for their ongoing support and understanding, and we very much look forward to delivering on our promise to repair the pier and ensure its long term survival.’