Hampshire & Isle of Wight

South Parade Pier in Southsea to be sold at auction

South Parade Pier in Southsea
Image caption The pier was completed in 1879 but "needs to appeal to 21st Century consumers"

A Victorian pier is to be sold at auction for a guide price of about £200,000.

South Parade Pier in Southsea, Portsmouth, goes under the hammer on 12 December at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Part of the pier was recently closed following safety concerns.

A spokesman for the National Piers Society said: "It is a listed structure and needs someone who can restore it to its former glory".

He added that it needed to appeal to "21st Century consumers".

"Given its existing facilities the possibilities are enormous," he said.

The pier, owned by Fred Nash and Dawn Randall, has gone into administration twice in the past 18 months.

Its guide price is between £190,000 and £210,000 but it is estimated restoration work could cost £2m.

'Long history'

South Parade Pier was completed in 1879 and opened by Prince Edward, later King Edward VII.

It includes the Gaiety Suite with a capacity of 750 and a smaller bar with a capacity of 400.

It has caught fire three times, once during the filming of The Who's rock opera Tommy.

In one scene featuring Oliver Reed, the smoke is visible.

Rob Marchant from auctioneer Clive Emson, said: "The pier offers huge scope, but needs investment and might be snapped up for the price of a three-bedroom semi.

"It also comes with a long and interesting history and it remains a Victorian pier that still has a long life ahead of it despite its age.

"I'm sure there is an investor out there who could revive the fortunes of this grand old structure."

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