The owners of Fantasy Island theme park now have they keys to Skegness Pier as they bought the tourist attraction for more than its £3 million guide price.
One of Lincolnshire’s most famous tourist attractions was officially opened in June 1881 by the then Duke of Edinburgh and was last acquired by Robin Mitchell.
The 139-year-old pier extends over most of Skegness beach and has been in the same family ownership since 1976. However, due to retirement, the attraction was put on the market in September last year by Christie & Co.
The Mellors Group is now in its fourth generation and want Skegness Pier returned back towards its former glory and possibly extended. The pier was sold significantly in excess of the £3 million guide price, but the exact figure has not been disclosed.
James Mellors is the chairman of the family business, which has owned Fantasy Island in nearby Ingoldmells since 2016 and plan to invest in the property.
He told BBC Radio Lincolnshire it was a great honour to be able to own a pier and people will start to see changes this year.
He said: “There’s lots of things we want to do. We’d love to try and see it reinstated at some point and put a bit more length in.”
Mellors Group Events supplied attractions to Victoria Park and every official London Olympic venue within the M25 for the 2012 London Olympics.
Jon Patrick, Christie & Co’s Director of Leisure & Development, oversaw the sales process.
He said: “In over 35 years of selling leisure businesses, few have come close to the intensity of interest generated by this instruction which led to a competitive bidding process, multiple cash offers being received, and a sale being agreed in excess of the guide price within four weeks of launch.
“This would be an incredible achievement at the best of times, but set against the current backdrop is quite remarkable and is an indicator of the underlying strength of the UK leisure market for top class assets as well perhaps an understandable strengthening of staycation interest in coast and country locations.”
Carolyn Wilkinson, daughter of the late Robin Mitchell and former owner, said: “It was a difficult decision to contemplate the sale of a business that has been in our family for so many years and it was important to us, given we know so many people in the industry, that the process was handled professionally and transparently.
“Christie & Co delivered on every level and we were amazed by how much interest was generated from around the UK and even Europe, as well as much closer to home.
“We wish James and the Mellors team every success and know they will do a fantastic job at the pier and continue to keep it at the forefront of all things Skegness.”
Christie & Co produced this video when the pier was put on the market for the first time in nearly 45 years: