A RADICAL new £30m vision for South Parade Pier has been unveiled.
The seaside attraction could be pulled down and replaced with a white fish-shaped pier that lights up blue at night.
A modern art gallery would occupy three floors in a bubble-shaped building in the middle of it. The space could also be used to hold concerts.
Portsmouth entrepreneur Graham Farmer has been working on the plans with a local architect. It’s expected the project could cost up to £30m.
Mr Farmer said it could lead to the creation of a new Portsmouth landmark.
‘The architect and I had a meeting and we reckon we would be looking for something between 20 and 30 million pounds,’ he said.
‘The project is a lot of money and it has to be something special.
‘It would become a new landmark for Portsmouth.’
It’s hoped funds would come from private investors and Mr Farmer has asked the Guggenheim Foundation, which supports the growth of art globally, to get on board.
It could provide money and supply the stock of artwork.
Mr Farmer said piers with amusement arcades were a thing of the past.
‘It’s dated and lots of other people think so too,’ he said.
‘I have done market research down at the pier for a few months and not many people go to the amusement arcade. The promenade part is really dying.’
Renewable energy would be used to power the premises. It would be sustainable,’ he said.
‘There is going to be a push with using renewables.’
Though the name of the project is currently called New Pier – people will be encouraged to suggest a better one.
But current pier owner Fred Nash has said the plans are not realistic.
‘It could never be done. We would have to raise the money,’ he said.
‘What he has done is totally unfeasible.
‘We would never get it past the listed buildings people or the planners.
‘It wouldn’t get anywhere. And anyway, we are refurbishing the pier ourselves. It’s a hard job but we are doing it.’
Councillor Luke Stubbs, who represents Eastney and Craneswater ward, said: ‘In principle if someone wanted to demolish the pier and replace it with something new, then providing they had the money then it’s something we would look at.
‘It’s extremely ambitious. You would need a lot of money behind it.’