Blackpool man buys landmark piers

Peter Sedgwick owner of all three Blackpool piers
Peter Sedgwick owner of all three Blackpool piers
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Blackpool’s historic central and South Pier have been bought for an undisclosed sum - by the man who already owned North Pier.

Peter Sedgwick today confirmed he was the man behind the deal for the landmarks which were put up for sale for £8.1m by Crown Entertainment Centres a company owned by entreprenuer Trevor Hemmings.

St John Stott, director at Crown Entertainment Centres, said: “Peter Sedgwick is an experienced, longstanding leisure operator and we are delighted to have sold both The Central and South Piers to him.”

Mr Sedgwick, who has owned North Pier since 2011, and currently operates rides on both Central and South Piers, said: “To add these two iconic piers to our portfolio is extremely exciting and we hope to capitalise on a group ownership of all three Blackpool Piers to ensure that many thousands of visitors continue to enjoy these wonderful attractions for years to come.”

Agents for the deal Bilfinger GVA Retail, Hotels and Leisure, put the two piers on the market in March along with the Llandudno pier which sold last month.

Richard Baldwin, director at Bilfinger GVA’s Retail, Hotels and Leisure team, said: “After considerable interest in both piers, we are delighted to have completed these two sales in such a short timescale.

“The conclusion of these sales together with that of Llandudno Pier is a clear illustration of a strengthening in the alternative leisure markets, which is extremely encouraging.”

The Sedgwick family are 4th generation showmen who have operated venues in and around Blackpool, and elsewhere for over 40 years. This acquisition enables the family to build on their experience to ensure the continued success of these local historic landmarks.

Peter Sedgwick, managing director at new company founded to run all three piers, Piers (Blackpool) Ltd, said: “We already own and operate the North Pier and many of the attractions on the other piers so this was an excellent opportunity to expand the business and add to our portfolio. The leisure sector has been tough over recent years but we have weathered the storm and emerged stronger for the experience. We understand that consumers want more value for money so we have worked to ensure that customers get more time and more value for every penny they spend with us.”

The deal, along with the sale of the Llanddudno pier to Adam Williams’s north Wales Tir Prince Raceway operation, was financed by Barclays Bank.

Chris Wynne, Relationship Director for Barclays said, “By working closely and really understanding the business, Barclays has been able to support the Sedgwick family financially and professionally throughout the investment.. The family has operated concessions on all 3 Blackpool piers for the last 18 years and therefore knows the industry inside out and understands the importance of continued investment.

“It’s great to see the pier being owned and managed by a local entrepreneur with a successful track record within the Blackpool leisure industry. The family and their advisors have worked hard to make this deal happen in a short space of time and against some strong competition - I wish Peter, Sue and the family every success for the future.”