BUYERS will be looking to snap up a historic pier today, which is going under the hammer for £400,000.
Auctioneers will be taking web-based bids as well as from the floor of Cleethorpes pier, as the auction gets under way this afternoon.
So far prospective purchasers’ plans for the 335ft landmark, which opened in 1873, have ranged from a retreat to a private home. Currently it is home to a nightclub and restaurant.
The pier has sold twice in the past for more than £1m and auction manager Tina Waterfell said the guide price of £400,000 was “very reasonable”.
She said: “It’s in the best state of repair that it has been for many years. It is absolutely perfect. If you got the keys you could go straight in and open it up on Monday as a nightclub and bar/restaurant.
“The gentleman who owns it has quite a few business investments and is scaling them down.
“It can be a very lucrative business with the right management. What has let it down in the past is the fact it hasn’t had a dedicated management team in there.”
Spokesman for the National Piers Society Anthony Wills said most piers were doing well and only a handful were threatened.
He said: “I anticipate keen interest because the pier is structurally sound and ,as I understand it, the interior has recently had a makeover and is ready to operate. Provided the right operator comes along all should be well. The secret is to have a programme of annual maintenance. Piers are very important, they are part of our coastal heritage.”
Originally piers were built as landing jetties – Cleethorpes pier started out three times longer – but from the 1870s onwards they became used more as places of entertainment.
Mr Wills said: “Kids still get a thrill from walking out over the water but you do have to keep up with the times and keep reinventing the product.”