Palace Pier Sale

When I heard in June that the Grade II* listed Palace Pier had been put up for sale, I was overjoyed for several reasons.

Firstly, like so many residents of Brighton & Hove, I have been frustrated since 2000 when the current owners, Noble Organisation, began calling the Palace Pier the ‘Brighton Pier’. A sale should lead to this being remedied.

Secondly, like so many local conservationists, I have been wondering for years exactly what happened to the Palace Pier Theatre that was put into storage in 1986 on the understanding that it would be replaced. A sale should throw light on its location and condition.

Thirdly, like so many people who have tried to buy food on the pier, I have been left disappointed. A queue, a broken machine and a shortage of waffle mix ensured that I stayed hungry on my last visit. A sale would surely lead to a rise in standards throughout.

It would appear to be the case that it is actually the company that owns the pier directly, The Brighton Marine Palace & Pier Co., which is actually for sale. The company’s origins can be traced back to the late 1880s when it was it was formed to build a new pleasure pier. Construction was allowed on the basis that the nearby Chain Pier would be removed. As it turned out, the Chain Pier was destroyed in a ferocious storm in 1896. Pieces of that pier, in an ironic twist, severely damaged the Palace Pier, which was under construction at that time.

The first section of the Palace Pier opened to the public in1899 with other sections following soon after. It has been added to and remodelled on a number of occasions over the years; and modifications have tended to be for the better. The aforementioned Noble Organisation bought the pier in 1984 and, in 1986, removed the already damaged Palace Pier Theatre. I’d love to know more about where it is now. The mystery surrounding its whereabouts may be unfounded but, either way, an answer is needed. Other changes made by Noble, such as increasing the size of the pier and adding more rides, have been hugely beneficial. A new vision to take things forward is now required.

To sign the petition calling for recognition of the Palace Pier’s proper name, see www.petitionbuzz.com. To buy this international landmark, speak to GVA Humberts Leisure.