THESE impressive pictures bring to life the extensive work being done to finally transform South Parade Pier.
After months of little news about the state of affairs at the Southsea attraction, images have been released showing the exterior in a new light.
The pier’s buildings have been given an overhaul, with new glass panels, fittings and a fresh coat of paint.
Pier owners spokesman Nick Courtney, who also leads the People’s Plan for Southsea campaign group, took the snaps during a tour of the venue and a meeting with bosses.
While there’s still much to be done inside before the public can be allowed back – the owners hope to completely re-open the pier after years of being closed by next summer.
Mr Courtney said: ‘The exterior is looking amazing – there is very little to report in regard to the completion date and the re-opening as the owners are reluctant to give themselves any more deadlines, as they are aware of the fact that they can be easily broken by many factors that are beyond their control.
Negotiations regarding what is actually going on the pier are still ongoing and announcements will hopefully be made in the near future.Nick Courtney
‘But I get the feeling we are looking at early next year for a partial re-opening, with all the buildings operational by the summer.
‘Negotiations regarding what is actually going on the pier are still ongoing and announcements will hopefully be made in the near future.’
Businessmen Tommy Ware Snr and Jnr Promises first revealed in 2015 they had taken over the pier and made a wave of announcements about what they would do.
There was talk of the venue being open for both of the Portsmouth America’s Cup World Series events, and a big wheel with a zip wire being launched at the back.
Delays in getting restrictions on a court order preventing access – due to the pier being too dangerous to access – meant progress has been hampered. But Leon Reis, chairman of East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum and South Parade Trust, which has been campaigning for the renovation of the pier, said he’s delighted with the latest update.
He said: ‘It is looking very, very good, and South Parade Trust really welcomes the progress. At last, we can say what we’ve been longing to say since 2012 – we are now looking forward to the re-opening that everyone in Southsea and the whole of Portsmouth has been waiting so long for.’
Portsmouth Tory culture boss Councillor Linda Symes said: ‘It’s fabulous news. When you look at the quality of work they have carried out there, it’s a really good job well done. All of the doubters – Leon Reis included – should really give their congratulations to those people.’