FISHERMEN will finally be able to cast off the end of South Parade Pier tomorrow after ‘a long time coming.’
South Parade Pier will officially open the end of the pier this weekend for use by the public for fishing.
Nick Courtney, who is involved in the pier renovation project, said: ‘We have waited a long time for it to be open and it is really important for families in Portsmouth to fish there and it is a massively popular place to fish.’
Fishing sessions run from 8am until 8pm and 8pm until 8am.
Nick added: ‘When I used to fish off the pier, we used to get kicked off at 10pm and it is amazing that night-time fishing is allowed because it is really, really good late at night on the high tide.’
A bait shop will also open at the end of the pier, which is owned by Tommy Ware and his consortium, in two weeks time.
Portsmouth fishing shop, Lock Stock and Tackle has seen revenue go down by £15,000 since the pier shut and owner Justin Roulland said: ‘Now the pier is opening for fishing again hopefully I should get that revenue back.
‘Customers are all very happy and the fishing will be phenomenal as the area hasn’t been fished for about five years.’
It comes after several steps to restore the pier back to its former glory including adding a 100-machine arcade in the front section and a Deep Blue fish and chip shop and restaurant.
Nick said: ‘The main room on the pier, called the Gaiety Showroom, will be opening in November and is already taking booking for Christmas parties.
‘It is a sit-down three-course meal with live entertainment.’
Businessman Mr Ware has faced controversy over the pier throughout the last few years as it has opened later than planned but in 2015 said: ‘The repair and reopening of South Parade Pier is way within our capabilities and to be perfectly honest, I am enjoying the challenge.
‘It’s an iconic structure that means a lot to myself and the people of Portsmouth and I can’t wait to see it back as the centrepiece of Southsea seafront and to be able to walk my own grandchildren to the end of the pier.’
The 8am to 8pm session will be £3 per adult, £2 per child and OAPs plus any extra rods will be £1 and the 8pm to 8am session it will be £3 for everyone plus any extra rods £1.