PIERS are wonderful institutions and we are very lucky to have some of the greatest ones around Sussex.

Each has something different which makes them so attractive and, in their own, way unique.

Some people argue that piers nationally are in decline but here in Sussex the opposite is the case.

I bought Eastbourne Pier in 2015 after there had been the most dreadful pier on the iconic building.

It has become my pride and joy.

I am on there seven days a week, working, talking to the public and seeing how I can improve it.

And of course, it can always be improved. Everything in life can always be improved.

Yes, I have painted parts of it gold and why not? I love gold.

I believe that most people are behind what I have done to the pier. I still give half price tea and coffee to disabled people.

I think this is important too. We must all treat people with respect.

I have invested heavily in Eastbourne Pier and I know other pier owners in Sussex have done the same, which is very pleasing.

I urge people to use their local pier. They are such great places.

I am awaiting planning permission for some new features, and it is vital that the council, and its planning committee, are behind the owners.

This is the quietest time of the year when building works can be done.

Sheikh Abid Gulzar is the owner of Eastbourne Pier