DCSIMG

‘I will buy pier eyesore’

Mike Simmons has met with George Greenall (below) to discuss a possible deal to sell his stake in Fleetwood Pier, which burned down in 2008.

Mike Simmons has met with George Greenall (below) to discuss a possible deal to sell his stake in Fleetwood Pier, which burned down in 2008.

A businessman has made a bid to take over the fire-ravaged Fleetwood Pier site.

George Greenall, of Fleetwood Community Plus, has met with leaseholder Mike Simmons – aka entertainer Joey Blower – to discuss a possible business deal which would entail buying his stake on the site.

Further discussions are being held to establish exactly what Mr Simmons would be in a position to sell.

He paid around £500,000 for the pier building but it burnt down in 2008, and he currently leases the land from Wyre Council.

This year, he won planning permission to build a hotel on the site after reducing the size of a previous controversial larger development, which proved unpopular with residents.

The land, labelled an eyesore, underwent a second clean-up earlier this month.

Mr Greenall, who is also looking into the possibility of buying the Mount Methodist Church for an arts centre, said: “We are testing the water.

“We need to establish what exactly he owns and how much it would cost us, but in principle it is an exciting possibility.

“Mr Simmons said he would be prepared to sell the lease if it was for community benefit. And I want the community to have it back.”

Now, Mr Greenall wants to know what Gazette readers would like to see on the site.

He added: “Before we would make any decision we would like to hear the views of Fleetwood people to see what they would like to see on that site.

“We would also be looking to work with Fleetwood Town Council and Fleetwood Civic Society, if they wanted to join our National Lottery bid, and make it a joint community effort.

“It could become a pier again, that could fall into the remit of Heritage Lottery funding, or it could be a people’s community building.”

Mr Greenall is planning a public meeting in which members of the public can have their say.

Wyre Coun Ruth Duffy said: “I would welcome anything that would benefit the community of Fleetwood.”

A spokeswoman for Wyre Council added: “It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment on this at this time as nothing has happened beyond an approach.

“If George Greenall or Mike Simmons do come to an agreement we will discuss the options direct with them.”

Mr Simmons was unavailable for comment.

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