Fears for industry

by Nigel Brown Jun 21 2020 1     5,253
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June 22, 2020


The owners of Clacton Pier today voiced their fears for the future of Tendring’s leisure and tourist industry - unless the Government allows businesses to reopen very soon.

Several major national attractions have recently closed, and the worry is that it could be a similar story in the district if there is not an urgent and well considered change in policy.

The Pier is currently holding its own - thanks to loans and staff being furloughed under the Government’s job retention scheme.

However, like many other attractions and leisure businesses across Tendring, the clock is ticking and that support will not last indefinelty.

Director Billy Ball said the longer the uncertainty remains with regard to what a likely re-opening date will be, the more damage will be done - and for some it will be fatal.

“Tourism is worth more than £1million a day to our district,” he said. “For us to continue to be a destination of choice we need to have the pulling power to bring people in.

“Once our overall offering diminishes it will be harder to attract visitors who want to have a full and extensive range of attractions and things to do for the family.

“Along with our trade association BALPPA (British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions) we are becoming increasingly concerned about the national and local impact of remaining closed due to the pandemic.”

Wicksteed, the oldest mainland theme park in the UK, has shut its doors along with Living Coasts in Torquay.

“These are heavily established players in our business, and it is a very sad day to see them go under,” added Mr Ball.

“We have the risk assesments and measures in place to allow a well managed and safe re-opening to take place and so are pleading with the Government to allow our sector to open back up and save businesses and jobs.”

Mr Ball added many of these companies are long-standing, employ local people, and are based in destinations which play a key role in providing family days out and holidays.

“How many more will close over the coming weeks and months and cause even more damage to the economy – both national and local,” he said.

“It is a particularly frustrating time because the private and public sector have worked so hard together in recent years to revitalize the visitor industry in Tendring.

“The Government has done a good job up until now providing various support packages and schemes for both business and individuals. However we can’t waste the benefit brought by this support by strangling the economy.

“The current stance will already set us back years and it could be terminal if there is no light any time soon.

“We must always remember that it is taxes from business that has paid for the NHS to help us fight this battle. So starving business will eventually starve the very organisaton that has saved us.”



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Andrew Lock 2 months ago

I don't understand some of the logic of our government, I drive buses in Colchester and my company is doing all it can against the virus so face masks mandatory on public transport, no it's not I have had people getting on the bus with no mask claiming can't wear one anxiety issues alcoholic issues breathing problems but hey they can all travel on any bus,I walked on the pier to fish last week and the owners have done a amazing job for social distancing

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