Eastbourne Pier owner again expresses interest in Bandstand following failed Levelling Up bid

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The owner of Eastbourne Pier has again suggested he wants to take over the Bandstand following news the town would not benefit from the latest round of the Levelling Up fund.
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Mr Gulzar now says he wants to make the Bandstand ‘completely free of charge’.

Sheikh Abid Gulzar on Eastbourne Pier (Photo from Jon Rigby)Sheikh Abid Gulzar on Eastbourne Pier (Photo from Jon Rigby)
Sheikh Abid Gulzar on Eastbourne Pier (Photo from Jon Rigby)

He added: "There were too many old people standing outside and just listening, they can't afford to go in.”

Mr Gulzar said he especially wants to do this for the older residents.

He explained: "They have done their job, they have paid their money, they have paid their taxes and we must give them love and affection and make them feel that the Bandstand belongs to them.”

He also wants to make the Bandstand’s roof gold.

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Eastbourne BandstandEastbourne Bandstand
Eastbourne Bandstand

Mr Gulzar explained: "I can renovate and improve it, do all the things [needed] and will see how much they [EBC] support me. But if they give me a lease for 10 years I am not interested.”

Mr Gulzar said he wants ‘100 per cent’ ownership of the Bandstand.

Friends of Eastbourne Seafront chair Gaynor Sedgwick said the group would like the Bandstand to remain in public ownership.

She added: “EBC has started work on the Bandstand and we hope that as promised it will reopen again in April. We have asked EBC to ensure that further funding for ongoing repairs and maintenance is included in their budget.

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The plans for Eastbourne Bandstand that Sheikh Abid Gulzar showed SussexWorld back in April 2022.The plans for Eastbourne Bandstand that Sheikh Abid Gulzar showed SussexWorld back in April 2022.
The plans for Eastbourne Bandstand that Sheikh Abid Gulzar showed SussexWorld back in April 2022.

“EBC do offer free entry to some of the entertainment and whilst we encourage that, the Bandstand is a commercial enterprise and it would not be financially viable to offer free entertainment for all, which would be a cost to the taxpayer and not provide the funds for ongoing repairs.

"The cost of a Bandstand ticket is very reasonable and in our experience has never been an issue.”

EBC said it has committed £750,000 to repairs and maintenance which will see the Bandstand reopen in April.