- March 20, 2017
The Pier has been a focal attraction on the south coast for over 117 years with visitors coming far and wide to walk along the Victorian boardwalk and enjoy the views of the seaside.
Which probably explains why it is still hugely popular even today. Although many changes and additions have been made to the Pier it would seem so very strange without it, whether it’s for the free deckchairs to relax in the sun or the lure of the fish and chips, the pier seems to appeal to so many different people, from locals and students to the day trippers or weekend visitors.
Like so many things that must change and adapt to continue to survive, the Pier has managed to retain its quintessential British heritage while appealing to the modern day person on the street (or beach). However one change that was made back in 2000 was not so welcome and caused quite a stir at the time!
The owners at the time ‘the Noble organisation’ decided to change the name from Palace Pier to Brighton Pier. This was a move that angered many local residents and historians at the time with some refusing to recognise the new name and continue to refer to it as the Palace Pier.
However the decision to change the name at the time did bring more attention to the name of where it was from: Brighton, this of course brought even more popularity and attention from overseas visitors and the name Brighton Pier is now more famous than ever before and has become a brand in its own right.
The Pier has managed to retain its quintessential British heritage while appealing to the modern day person
However in April 2016 the Pier was sold to new buyers headed up by Luke Johnson. One of the first thing the new owners did was to listen to the local audience and to its management team. This began a series of new developments and the decision was made to bring back the beloved Palace to the Pier.
In September 2016 a competition ran which asked anyone and everyone to come up with a new design to include the words Brighton Palace Pier and in January this year the winner was announced. Lucy Williams, a local artist and designer of the Open Market sign beat many entries to the winning prize of £1,000 and the chance to make history. It was important that to bring back the past to the present both names were kept as Brighton Pier was now so famous to a new generation of locals and international visitors.
And so in 2017 we welcome back an old friend and say hello to Brighton Palace Pier, long may she rule and continue to bring pleasure and fun for another 100 years.
The newly refurbished Horatio’s bar has now been given a family friendly vibe to it, with additional seating and new menu including some tasty sharing platters. There will be live music and entertainment over the holidays and summer plus a host of activities and free fun days.
A new improved ‘Dolphin Derby’ game has been installed with 18 seats to play the game and ‘roll the balls’ hoping to race their dolphin to the finish line. Second is the cheekily named I-220 kid’s ride, which holds 12 riders and takes them up 8 metres and spins them around too! It’s a great fun new addition and even mum and dad can join the kids on it.
However the most anticipated and popular new attraction will surely be the PALACE PLAY, a fantastic indoor, 4 story, multi-purpose soft play area. This will be will be a great reminder to all those locals that remember the ‘pirates deep’ play area which was hugely popular in Brighton in the 1990s.
There will be a brand new café for parents and grown-ups to relax and have a coffee and a chat while the kids are having fun. The indoor Dome building will boast over 50 arcade and gaming machines including air hockey, dance mats and 4 player games.
The programme of activities will include private hire for birthdays, school groups and parties plus after school groups, coffee mornings and pizza parties too!
To celebrate the new name the Pier will be taking part and heavily supporting English Tourism week from the 25th of March until the 2nd April. Look out for the open top bus at the Pier along with competitions and giveaways online and on social media.