Roadmap welcomed

  • 22 February, 2021
  • On the pier


The Prime Minister’s roadmap to re-opening after Lockdown 3 has been warmly
welcomed by Clacton Pier and is better than expected.

There is genuine hope that outdoor areas – including rides and the new
observation wheel – will be given the go-ahead for April 12, depending on the

Further clarification is being sought from trade associations about whether
some indoor attractions can open on that date, while it is accepted others will
need to wait until May 17 at the earliest.

Bosses at the landmark attraction will now be able to plan to recruit
staff for all parts of the site.

Pier director Billy Ball said he is pleased with the Government’s announcement
today and it has helped to reignite confidence.

“The announcement is better than we expected and hopefully it will not
be long before we can open the doors to customers,” he said.

“It has been a long hard winter and we all understand why it was
necessary to have a third lockdown – and we supported that for the good of

“But with Covid rates coming down and millions being vaccinated we need
to be looking ahead.

“We appreciate it will be a gradual re-opening as we do not want to undo
the good work that has already been done.

“But now we have some target dates to work towards we can begin our
planning with some degree of certainty. The Pier is not able to operate at a
moment’s notice as we need to employ staff, get them trained and put everything
else in place.”

Mr Ball added that whatever happens, he hopes the Government will extend
the furlough scheme until such time as businesses can reopen and give further
support through VAT and business rates.

“I believe this Government has done as much as any other across the
world to provide help to the business community but that needs to continue for
just a little longer,” he said.

“Otherwise, there will be more jobs lost and companies going under.”

Mr Ball said he is looking forward to being able to employ local people and
providing jobs on the Pier again.

The Pier re-opened its Candy Corner kiosk at the weekend providing
takeaway refreshments now that the weather has improved.

It is the only part of the business that can operate under current
lockdown restrictions.


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