South Parade Pier repairs ‘could take years’

South Parade Pier
South Parade Pier

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FEARS have been raised over the future of South Parade Pier after it emerged it could take years to reopen the whole attraction.

Portsmouth City Council has ordered the closure of the majority of the Southsea venue until repairs are made because it is unsafe.

The arcade is unaffected, but is not open at the moment because the pier’s electricity supply has been cut off.

As reported, EDF Energy was given permission to go in and switch off the power because owners Fred Nash and Dawn Randall have not paid all their bills.

Meanwhile, Mr Nash said repairs will be done by The South Parade Trust once a deal is agreed for it to take over.

But Leon Reis, chairman of the trust, admits it needs to raise around £650,000 to do that and get the place back up and running.

But he remains confident and says a ‘comprehensive’ fundraising plan will be announced soon.

‘It may take years to fix the whole thing – it depends how quickly we get the money,’ said Mr Reis.

‘We could have been doing this a long time ago, but the owners until a few weeks ago said it was not available.

‘So it will take as long as it takes. But I don’t want it to take a long time.

‘I want to be in that pier with my grandchildren, that’s what it is all about.’

Money has already been made through the sale of prints of the pier in the style of famous artists.

Talks have also been held with English Heritage.

But Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader, said the situation was a concern.

‘When you take together the problems with the electricity bills, combined with the repair closure order, this is going to be an uphill battle and I am concerned about what is going to happen next,’ he said.

‘There have been other places where piers have been shut for long periods and I hope it doesn’t happen here.’

Mr Nash said he hopes to get the arcade up and running soon because the power is being switched to British Gas.

‘The council has said it doesn’t want the pier open until repairs are done,’ he said.

‘As soon as the trust has got the money it will reopen it.’