Bidding war starts over the iconic Cleethorpes Pier
THE sale of the iconic Pier is "moving at 100 miles an hour" – but the owner will only sell if he knows it is in "safe hands".
A bidding war has now broken out between potential buyers for the Cleethorpes landmark, which failed to sell at auction on Saturday.
And owner and local businessman Bryn Ilsley is hopeful he can strike a deal by the end of the week.
Today, two London-based companies will be shown around the Pier and yesterday, Swindells Auctioneers were negotiating with two other firms, among other bidders.
Mr Ilsley, who owns several properties around North East Lincolnshire, said: "I have had more offers and more interest in the last 48 hours than I had in the two weeks before the auction, it has been unbelievable.
"But I want to see the Pier in safe hands, I am not going to let it go willy-nilly. I spent a lot of money, time and effort on it so I want it to go to the right person. It isn't like valuing and selling a three-bedroom terrace, it is the landmark of Cleethorpes."
The highest bid for the venue on Saturday night was £390,000 – falling £10,000 short of the guide price.
But after attracting attention from the national media, scores of potential buyers came forward – and it is likely it will surpass the £400,000 guide price.
Auction manager Tina Waterfall would not disclose the names of companies but is excited about the Pier's future.
She said: "Since the auction it has been going 100 miles and hour. We have had a lot of offers – including some silly ones – and I would think a buyer will be found by the end of the week.
"It is incredibly exciting, the interest is so varied, but the bidders are still holding their cards very close to their chest.
"I feel very passionate about the building, I have lived and breathed it for several months now, it is my baby and I can't wait to see it being put to fantastic use."
The highest price the Pier – which is one of just 55 in the country – has ever sold for was £1 million in the 1980s.
But there is still a chance Mr Ilsley will not sell and either rent it out or run the venue himself.
He added: "I am glad it hasn't sold, it means I have had more time to think things through. I am not going to rush into anything, if it sells it sells, if it doesn't there are other options we can look at."