THE owners of South Parade Pier are facing calls to sell up after another one of their companies was liquidated.
Outstanding electricity bills owed to EDF Energy totalling tens of thousands of pounds have led to the firm operating the attraction, SPP South Cost Limited, being wound up.
It is the second time the energy giant has taken the drastic measure because of overdue debts at the Southsea pier, with Frenash Limited suffering the same fate last year.
This has prompted renewed calls for Fred Nash and Dawn Randall, who own the pier through holding company The South Parade Pier Limited, to either sort it out or find someone who can.
As reported, the badly rusted seafront structure has been found to be dangerous by Portsmouth City Council’s surveyors.
This led to the owners closing off everything except the front of the arcade and its concessions.
Mr Nash said not only is he now paying off debts run up at the pier, but he is also in discussion with three potential buyers.
But the MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, said if the pier wasn’t sold soon it wouldn’t be worth anything.
‘The council has done the right thing to make the area safe,’ he said.
‘Fred Nash has got a responsibility to make a decision; either to sell it or do the work that is necessary and pay the bills.
‘It is appalling that he has been allowed to do this and do it over a long period of time. If this goes on it won’t be worth anything.’
‘And I feel terribly sorry for people who have concessions there like the fish and chip shop.
‘It needs sorting out – if he has no intention of keeping it he needs to sell it for a price that is reasonable.’
Mr Nash confirmed that SPP had been wound up but said he would be able to find the money needed for the repairs.
‘We have been working with the council,’ he said. ‘And it will not reopen until all the work is done
‘We are going to do it in stages. A structural surveyor has had a look and it is not as bad as people think.’
He added: ‘And I am in discussions with three groups of people about buying the pier and one of them is a well known company.’