Pier unveils details of £4 million development

by Nigel Brown Jun 26 2018 0     510
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February 15, 2018

 

 

Clacton Pier today unveiled the first details of its multi-million pound scheme which will transform the site into one of the premier attractions in East Anglia.

Preparations are already under way and work has started on the development which is due to be completed early in 2019.

The Pier’s bank has now given the final go ahead for the finances which will see around £4million invested.

The aim is to make the Pier a 52-week a year undercover heated facility and help bring in extra visitors to the Tendring District.

The two main features will be a £500,000 indoor and outdoor adventure golf course over two levels being built by an American company as well as a £500,000 children’s play area.

These two facilities alone will take up 30,000 square feet and will be in a heated area with special landscaping and lighting.

There will also be new dodgems at first floor level; a new food and drink section; enhancements to the Seaquarium; a large versatile events space for the winter months and an enlarged amusement arcade.

This is being created on the eastern side of the Pier with panoramic views out over the new beaches created by Tendring Council and will embrace a 1930s art deco look and feel.

Included in the plans are new external low energy lighting and external landscaping. 

Director Billy Ball said the all-clear from the bank was the final piece of the jigsaw.

“We had a scheme on the drawing board but just how far we could take it depended on what money was available to us,” he said.

“We were always going to make significant improvements but now we can proceed with Plan A as we have the £4million we were seeking to borrow and pay back over the next 20 years. The aim is to create the largest multi-use indoor entertainment centre in the country.

“We have been building our financial reputation for the past nine years since we took over Clacton Pier and obviously the bank has now backed us in the best possible way.

“We could never have funded this development ourselves as we are ploughing almost every penny we take back into the annual repair and maintenance of what is a very expensive structure to keep up to scratch.” 

Clacton Pier is the largest in Europe at 6.5 acres and Mr Ball said that every square inch must start to pay its own way to ensure the Pier becomes sustainable in today’s market.

“This is the biggest single investment in the Pier since it was build 147 years ago and it is about taking the attraction to the next level,” he added.

“We cannot standstill and have to keep growing and improving the customer experience while staying true to our traditions and heritage as a Victorian pier.

“This is also very much about our own commitment to Clacton and Tendring moving forwards.

“By starting the preparatory work at the end of last season we have not lost any time while the money has been coming through and means we are in a good position.

“People will have seen a lot of work taking place over the past few months – a new transformer has been installed to create the power supply we will need in the future; the 1930s barrelled roof has been stripped off and panels taken out on the east side ready for the new attractions and facilities.”

The Pier has all rides operating this week for half term and will remain open throughout the development.

The rides will be operating each weekend and every day through the Easter school holidays and at Whitsun Circus Fantasia will also make a welcome return following its introduction last year in the Jolly Roger.

 


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