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29 June 2011, 18:15
One of Britain's most famous seaside attractions, Brighton Pier, has been put up for sale, its owner has disclosed.
The Grade II*-listed landmark has been placed on the market for the first time in more than 25 years.
Its owner, Noble Group, has not revealed a guide price for it but the company handling its sale, GVA Humberts Leisure, said ``strong interest'' from potential buyers has already been generated.
Noble, which has owned the structure since 1984, has invested some #35 million into the 112-year-old pier, which is also known as the Palace Pier.
David Biesterfield, Noble's development director, said: ``Brighton Pier is unique, a dynamic, modern business based on and sustaining our heritage.
``Since 1984, Brighton Pier has re-established itself as one of the UK's leading attractions in one of the country's most popular and forward-looking city resorts.''
Brighton Pier is regarded as one of Britain's most visited places, with 18 themed attractions and rides, two amusement arcades and retail and entertainment outlets.
Celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly, Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee have all paid a visit, as have modern-day icons such as The Who and the Arctic Monkeys.
Along the coast in Brighton is another landmark attraction, the Grade I-listed West Pier, which remains a twisted shell after being destroyed by fires and storms.
As Brighton Pier became one of the UK's trending topics on Twitter, many users urged a new owner to revert back to calling it the Palace Pier.
Brighton and Hove City Council leader Bill Randall said new owners would bring the opportunity for new ideas for the structure.
He said: ``It's the most visited attraction in Brighton and Hove, with many of the city's 8.5 million visitors setting foot on this city icon.
``We are confident there will be significant interest from major leisure and tourism investment companies in this successful attraction.
``The Noble organisation has operated the pier for the last quarter of a century and we will look forward to working closely with the new owners and operators once the sale has been agreed.
``New owners bring an opportunity for new ideas.''