Owners have come good on their pier promise

It couldn't come at a more appropriate time.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 6th April 2017, 6:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:02 pm

After years of neglect, legal tussles, political fall-outs, devastating fires and daily batterings from the sea, South Parade Pier will finally be resurrected this Easter.

The new owners have invested a staggering £5m in the Grade II-listed Victorian pier to bring it back to its former glory.

There was much scepticism in 2014 when it was announced father-and-son team Tommy Ware junior and senior had bought the crumbling structure.

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Many doubted there would be enough money to pay for the vital repairs that led to the closure of the-once elegant and beautiful pier two years earlier, for health and safety reasons.

And there were fears that it would fall into the Solent long before it was ever in a healthy enough state to reopen, a victim of the chronic underfunding of our iconic heritage buildings.

But it appears the Wares have come good on their vow to make South Parade Pier something Portsmouth can once again be proud of.

Along with the immaculate bright white paint and beautiful new ironwork, now glistening in the spring sunshine, the city will also enjoy the benefit that scores of extra jobs the opening of cafes, restaurants and the arcade will bring.

If all goes to plan, South Parade Pier could once again be the jewel in Southsea’s crown, to add to the already fantastic attractions we have along our beloved coastline.

The date for the partial re-opening has been set for Good Friday. And there is no doubt there will be hundreds of people queuing up when the barriers are taken down at 9am.

The owners deserve praise for getting this far in the monumentally difficult task of resurrecting this iconic landmark.

Now we really hope they can see it through to the end.