New owner for Southwold Pier

11:06 27 February 2013

Southwold Pier

Southwold Pier

Archant © 2010

Southwold’s iconic pier has been sold to a luxury hotel business.

Gough Hotels Ltd, which owns The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds and The Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich, has bought the landmark, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The deal, which was announced to staff by the current owners Stephen and Antonia Bournes today, potentially adds a third hotel to the Gough family’s business.

Planning permission was secured in 2010 for the redevelopment of the main building at the shore end of the pier as a luxury Art Deco-style 30-bedroom hotel.

Mr Bournes said today: “We are very excited about the sale. Gough Hotels are great operators and are passionate about Suffolk.

“They are keen to take on the hotel development and we see this as really good news for Southwold, and for Suffolk. We know Gough Hotels well and we believe we could not have found a better buyer.”

Southwold Pier was put up for sale two years ago and attracted interest from a variety of parties but no deal resulted.

Mr Bournes said Robert Gough, the owner of Gough Hotels, had made an approach more recently after being impressed during a visit to the pier when it hosted an event for the Visit East Anglia tourism body.

The original Southwold Pier was built in 1900 as a landing stage for the Belle steamships, which carried passengers to seaside destinations from London.

It was originally 810 feet long but major storms in 1934, 1955 and 1979 successively reduced it to just 60 feet in length.

Reconstruction took place between 1999 and 2001, when the pier was rebuilt to a length of 623 feet.

The present main building dates from a major refurbishment in 1937.

Stephen and Antonia Bournes acquired the pier in 2005, since when they have invested in a number of improvements.


  • Obviously Gough Hotels have the correct pedigree to be allowed to start a business in Southwold - bet the council are sad they spent money doing up the toilets on the car park now

    Report this comment

    Mrs Meldrew

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • The Southwold business mafia wont like that, a bit more competition.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Lets hope they don't want to sell posh coffee.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, February 28, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


Show Job Lists


J&S Jewellery was launched three years ago by sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett and is now turning over £1M a year. Photo : Steve Adams

When launching a jewellery business in late 2012, sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett used some borrowed money and a spare room. After ordering a small batch from a manufacturer in the Far East, their only customers the first Christmas were friends and family.

Justice Secretary Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for the first Cabinet meeting of the new government. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Cabinet. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

It is always challenging to take on a job in an industry in which you have no experience, looking to learn on the job while leading.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor


Sabah Meddings

Business Writer


Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up