She made the comments after speaking to Adam Stephens of Smith and Williamson – joint administrator of Hastings Pier Charity – in order to receive an update and ensure the bidding process for the pier goes ‘smoothly and fairly’.
Since the pier was placed into administration on November 24 last year, Ms Rudd said she has taken a ‘keen interest’ in helping ensure Hastings Pier can enjoy a ‘sustainable and prosperous long term future’.
In discussions with the pier’s administrators, Ms Rudd said she learned a number of offers for the pier had been received and were currently all under consideration. The administrators said they had also received a number of revisions to these offers and they hoped to make a decision shortly so the new owner may make full use of the boost in tourism over summer.
She added: “I was really pleased to hear the bidding process for the pier is moving along quickly. It is vital that our pier’s new owner can provide stability and sustainability with a long term plan. I made sure the concerns of the local community were heard, and that Hastings Pier must always be free of charge on entry.
“I was pleased to see a local community group, Friends of Hastings Pier, had submitted an offer for the pier and I made clear that the community must always be involved with our pier should their offer be unsuccessful. I was encouraged to hear that the Heritage Lottery Fund and the pier’s administrators understand the importance of local community involvement and will consider all offers fairly and carefully.”