Of all the concessions affected by the fire at the end of the pier, the one which perhaps has been one of the worst hit is A&T Tackle which offers an opportunity to fish at the end of the seafront structure. Without a pier – this opportunity has clearly gone.
However, its owner of some years, Arran Aghili-Kordmahale has remained upbeat despite the odds and will be running one of the concession stands at Airbourne even though his core fishing attraction has disappeared albeit temporarily.
Stephen Lloyd MP said, “I’ve met Arran and his fishing business through my support for the annual fishing competition Fish 4 Kidz, as well as seeing all the fantastic charity work he’s done over the years.
“He is a lovely bloke whose business is in trouble through no fault of his own.
“I have advised Arran to apply to the Pier Benevolent Fund and I’d ask everyone who visits us at Airbourne to come and have a look at what Arran and our other pier concession holders are selling on the seafront.
“The way that our whole town has come together – once again – has been truly in the spirit of Eastbourne.”
Arran said, “I appreciate Stephen’s support over this.
“It’s been really hard to believe my business could suddenly, within the space of a few hours, disappear.
“We’ve got well established over the last few years and I was looking forward to a great summer.
“Fishing off the end of the pier in Eastbourne is well over 100 years old and I am determined to bring it back once the pier re-opens in a few months time.
“Meanwhile, I have bills to pay and no source of income so have been really grateful for the support of so many local people.
“We will be back – just like I know our lovely pier will be, of that I am absolutely sure.”
The pier’s general manager Christos Stylianou said, “I’ve known Arran from the very beginning.
“He’s invested in the business and increased the popularity of an old English seaside holiday pastime, which is just great.
“The fire has been a particular blow for him as his unique offer – that of fishing on the pier – cannot be replicated in a stall or trading out of an empty shop in the same way other affected concessionaires can.
“I am determined to do all I can to support them through this and I am sure Eastbourne feels the same way.
“I look forward to welcoming visitors old and new back to the pier.”