Sussex

Brighton Pier 'attracts interest from investors'

Brighton Pier
Image caption Brighton Pier opened in May 1899 at a cost of £27,000

Investors from the UK and overseas have shown an interest in buying Brighton Pier, the man in charge of selling the famous landmark has said.

Richard Baldwin, director of property agent GVA Humberts Leisure, said the pier was an "iconic, trophy asset".

Owners the Noble Group, which took over the grade II* listed building in 1984, announced the pier's sale in June.

Mr Baldwin said: "We have got interest from domestic investors and also foreign investors."

'Elements of refurbishment'

He said there were constraints on what a buyer could do with the pier, because it was a listed building.

Mr Baldwin said he was "not publicly divulging the price" because potential buyers wanted the information to be confidential.

It is thought the Noble Group has invested about £35m in the pier since taking over.

Mr Baldwin said: "I suspect an incoming investor would take a bit of time getting to grips with what they have bought before doing any major works, but there's elements of refurbishment and I'm sure they will embark on that."

Work started on the construction of the 1,760ft (533m) pier in 1891. It was opened in May 1899.

During a storm in 1973, the pier was damaged by a barge which had broken loose from its moorings, and it suffered limited damage in a fire in February 2003.

At the height of the tourist season, the pier employs about 300 people.

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