Buyer found for iconic seaside pier
PUBLISHED: 17:18 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:51 06 May 2020
(C) Archant Norfolk 2013
The future of Lowestoft’s iconic Claremont Pier looks to be secure - after a buyer was found for the famous seaside landmark.
However, estate agents for the famous tourist attraction said they are still open to unconditional offers while the pier remains closed during the coronavirus crisis.
The 177-year-old structure has been on the market since April 2018, after owner David Scott became frustrated at the lack of investment in Lowestoft’s seafront over the years.
There was substantial interest in the Wellington Esplanade site, which boasts its own roller skating venue, restaurant and live music venue - but offers made fell through at the last hurdle.
Mr Scott slashed the asking price from £2.5milllion in 2018 to £1.25m in January, with the 600ft pier closed while Claremont Pier Ltd was taken into temporary liquidation.
The pier remains in the hands of liquidators MHA Larking Gowen and is shut during the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown.
However Jonathan Carmen, of Halesworth-based Fennel Chartered Surveyors, confirmed a buyer has now been found and that the sale is progressing “very well”.
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Yet he said: “If anyone is interested and wants to buy the property, the liquidators would consider that.”
Mr Scott said that he has “put my heart and soul” into running the Claremont, which his family has owned for nearly 50 years.
However he said: “You reach a stage of your life when you think you have done all you can and it is time to pass it on to someone else.”
Mr Scott - who has run the business on his own for about eight years after taking over from his father John and brother Paul - tried to apply for cash to restore the sea end of the pier, originally built on wooden piles of pitch pine, to its former glory.
However, that bid missed out on funding - although the main part of the site has been extensively refurbished.
There have long been hopes for more government funding for Lowestoft’s seafront, with seaside areas able to bid from funding pots such as the Coastal Communities Fund and Coastal Revival Fund.
An advert posted by Fennel Chartered Surveyors earlier this year said: “This represents a unique opportunity to acquire an extremely well maintained leisure investment on the popular South Beach of Lowestoft.
“It is hoped a new owner will extend the existing structure to its original 600ft length, complete with a T-shaped pier head to allows boats to dock.”
Anyone interested in the pier should contact Fennel Chartered Surveyors on 01986 485001.
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