Historic Skegness Pier seeks new owner

The specialist leisure property adviser, Christie & Co, has been instructed to sell Skegness Pier, one of the UK’s oldest seaside attractions.

Specialist leisure property adviser, Christie & Co, has been instructed to sell one of the UKs most iconic visitor attractions Skegness Pier.

The pier has been in the same family ownership since 1976 and is being offered for sale due to retirement.

The pier was officially opened on June 4 1881, by the then Duke of Edinburgh, following a nationwide design competition. Typical of designs for the era, it was extended to 1,817 ft long with a deck width of 25ft.

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Following many years of evolution, Skegness Pier comprises a three-deck structure situated on the mainland, together with an external pier deck running out over the beach.

Holiday makers and residents can still stroll down the pier and enjoy the views along the miles of surrounding beach.

During the summer months it also plays host to a variety of traditional seaside attractions such as Hook-A-Duck and children's Carousel, the Big Slide, Helter Skelter and the Bungee Trampoline.

Carolyn Wilkinson, the daughter of the late Robin Mitchell, who was the last person to acquire the pier, commented, “Since my father passed away in 2006 we have continued as custodians of this immense structure.

"Whilst the business is effectively operated under management for the family and we have consistently invested in improving the facilities and customer experience, we are at that time in our lives where it makes sense to pass the reins to new owners. I’ve been contacted many times over the years asking if we would sell and so this incredible opportunity now becomes a reality.”

Jon Patrick, Head of Leisure & Development at Christie & Co who is overseeing the sale, said: “Skegness Pier is a fundamental part of the town’s appeal, situated between the resort’s Clock Tower and a Premier Inn opened in 2019 and flanked by the Pleasure Beach fairground.

"Being positioned predominantly on the mainland sets it apart from many other pier structures and it has received considerable recent investment which will appeal to potential purchasers.

"There is also land either side of the pier apart from the visible structure allowing for further expansion or redevelopment.

" Given the comparatively small number of piers in the UK, with many in council or long-time family ownership, they are something of a rarity. As such, we envisage that Skegness Pier will appeal to a variety of leisure operators and investors from both the UK and potentially further afield.”

Skegness was one of the UK’s first seaside resorts, growing from a small fishing village into a Victorian holiday and day-visitor destination within a few years, following the arrival of the railway to Skegness in 1872.

The area is synonymous with the Butlins holiday business which opened its first UK resort adjacent to the pier in 1936, before relocating during the early 1960s to its current destination in Ingoldmells.

Today, Skegness, Ingoldmells and the surrounding area attract more than 4.5m visitors annually.

The value of tourism to the area has increased considerably following the surge in popularity of staycations over the last decade, of which nearly 85% is attributed to visitors taking holidays and 15% being day visitors and is estimated to be worth almost £600m.

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James Mitchinson