Worthing can be proud of its ‘jewel in the crown’ according to the co-owner of one of its most iconic attractions.
Phil Duckett, 58, has owned Worthing Pier’s Southern Pavilion alongside business partner Richard Bradley for five years, but it last week emerged the pair were selling the leasehold.
The time was right for fresh blood to take over, said Phil, after the duo achieved all they wanted in their tenure.
“It’s just time to do new things,” he said, adding he was looking forward to taking a break for a few months to spend time with his family.
“We’ve been there five years now and it’s good to have new ideas and new people coming in – that’s good for any business, to keep it fresh.
“It’s a great opportunity for someone to move it forward even more, which is always good.”
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The duo, who also run the ice rink that operates in Steyne Gardens between November and February, completed a £200,000 refurbishment of the former nightclub in 2014, converting it into a café, bar and wedding venue. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, offering the ‘best views in the south’ and ending 2018 in profit, according to its accounts.
The owners have had lots of enquiries since placing it on the market, listed by agents Hilton Smythe as Worthing Pier Events, said Phil, but the new owners have to be ‘serious people’ that understand what is required.
“They have got to be hungry and excited,” he said.
“It’s exciting for the new people and from my point of view it would be great to pass it on to people who can kick on. That’s good for the town.
“Things are changing in Worthing for the better. Sometimes people can expect changes to happen overnight, but it doesn’t work like that.”
Phil said the ‘buzz’ for him was getting involved with businesses from the beginning and following them through to the end.
He would be taking the many positives, and the things he learned from running the Southern Pavilion, into his next venture – the exact details of which he was unable to reveal.
The Southern Pavilion, he said, would always mean a lot to him. “It’s a jewel in the crown of Worthing and something the town should be proud of,” he said.