A PIER has staked a strong claim to owning Sussex's biggest beer garden.

Hastings Pier can now host 600 seated and socially distanced drinkers after it underwent an impressive transformation.

The new look has also allowed live music to return to the town, with bands able to perform on the elevated platform of the roof terrace.

On Saturday, The Bier Garden welcomed singer songwriter Sam Calver, who comes from Hastings, and his band to the stage for an evening of entertainment.

The Argus:

The tables quickly filled and visitors were able to enjoy some much-missed music.

Sam thanked the crowd for their support on social media after the gig, saying: "I can’t tell you how good it felt to be back in front of a crowd again.

"Thank you so much to everyone that came down to support us and to my amazing band for having my back as always."

The band took to the stage under a beautiful blue sky and were given a warm reception.

One visitor said it was "amazing seeing so many people on the pier having fun in the sun".

The Argus:

Another said: "Great afternoon and evening. Fabulous music and everyone being sensible. Thank you for making us feel nearly normal."

John Bownas of what's on guide the Hastings Flyer was also full of praise for the event.

He said: "The pier is the perfect space for live music to come back to Hastings.

"The huge open deck allows for easy social distancing between tables and the natural stage provided by the roof terrace of the central building keeps the performers and audience well apart.

"The pier has played host to scores of iconic bands over the years and it's brilliant to be a part of this series of gigs that will bring new music to audiences that have been starved of entertainment for so many months."

The Argus:

The event was free to attend, with organisers asking for a £2 donation towards the entertainment.

The menu offered beer, cider and more.

But, with the significant size of the new beer garden, does this make it the largest in the UK.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the "UK's biggest socially distanced beer garden" had opened in Walthamstow, London.

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The Truman's Social Club boasts 35,000 square feet, when combining the garden and venue, and opened on July 4.

Hastings Pier is reportedly 910ft long and 45ft wide, meaning it has 40,950sq ft of space.

However, not all of this is being used as a beer garden, so it cannot be said for sure that the new site is the UK's largest.