Leigh On Sea News: Pier For Sale? – SOUTHEND’s iconic pier is facing a potential shift into private hands as part of a series of unprecedented cost-cutting initiatives.
Pier For Sale? - SOUTHEND’s iconic pier is facing a potential shift into private hands as part of a series of unprecedented cost-cutting initiatives.
SOUTHEND’s iconic pier is facing a potential shift into private hands as part of a series of unprecedented cost-cutting initiatives.
Despite hosting events like the highly popular El Galeon visit, one of the city’s cherished landmarks has been incurring an annual loss of £190,000 for the council.
Council leader Tony Cox, a member of the Conservative party, has expressed the council’s openness to considering “a commercial operator” to manage the pier.
He stated: “If someone wishes to express their interest in taking on this responsibility, we will review their proposal with sympathy.
“The pier is a precious gem in Southend’s crown, so it’s crucial that we keep it operational. If individuals possess the skills to run it as a commercially viable venue that people want to frequent, why not? We welcome anyone to come forward with their plans, and we will assess them with an open mind.”
In 2020, Tony Garner, a local businessman from Thorpe Bay and the managing director of Epic World Leisure, proposed a revitalisation plan for the pier.
Earlier, in 2016, private investor Philip Miller, owner of Adventure Island and his company Stockvale, expressed interest in investing £20 million for the pier’s renovation.
One new measure is the council’s plan to raise the entrance fee to the pier by 25p.
The council’s other cost-saving measures include a 10 percent increase in all council charges, except for parking fees.
The council also aims to boost income by seven percent through expanded on-street parking charge areas and the introduction of charges for parking at Two Tree Island in Leigh.
The Council’s Bereavement-related costs are set to rise, with a 20 percent increase in burial fees aimed at “managing burial demand in areas with limited land supply.”
Future city events such as the Tour of Britain bike race will need to be organised without financial support from the council.
Additionally, the NetPark arts project, providing art therapy-based services for adults with dementia, is on the chopping block, representing a planned saving of £50,000.
The council is exploring opportunities for service sharing with other local authorities as part of its cost-saving efforts.