Tourism needs support

  • 4 May, 2020
  • On the pier


tourism industry will need further support to help businesses recover once the
lockdown is lifted.

the clear message Clacton Pier Director Billy Ball has sent to politicians
involved in an urgent inquiry into the future of the sector.

Pier has joined forces with the National Piers Society to take part in the
consultation exercise being undertaken by the All-Party Parliamentary Group
(APPG) for Hospitality and Tourism.

Ball set out a whole raft of financial measures which will be needed from the
Government in the recovery period when restrictions are lifted.

include extending the job retention scheme, possibly on a reduced percentage;
rates relief for the leisure industry and supply chain; increased grants and
deferral of indirect tax payments such as PAYE, VAT and Machines Games duty
until Summer 2021.

also put forward a reduction in VAT until Summer 2021 and a rebate, extension or
future fee reduction for various licenses.

Ball made it clear that the Pier will be ready to open various areas of the
attraction in a staggered manner.

are not an all or nothing attraction – we are the largest pleasure pier in Europe
at 6.5 acres – and as such can open different departments at different times,”
he added.

would help us to restore some level of income and small numbers of staff could
be brought back to work and reduce some of those on the job retention scheme.”

Ball said the Pier has already started to risk assess separate areas and look
at ways of upping cleaning and hygiene measures but felt that some standard
guidance from the Government would be helpful.

part of the consultation exercise, he also called for an additional day to the
August Bank Holiday (if open) and an extra Bank Holiday in early Autumn.

Ball also suggested further support for tourism promotional bodies to push
British holidays and breaks.

responses were sent back on April 27 and the APPG is aiming to publish its
findings and report in full by the middle of this month.

Wardley, from the National Piers Society, said that he was delighted to team up
with Clacton Pier to provide feedback to the group.

is important that those on the frontline of the sector have the chance to speak
up and we will continue to press the case for our piers and the tourism
industry in general,” he added.

Ball thanked the Government for the financial help it has provided already to businesses
which gives hope for the future.

it around 80 jobs would almost certainly have been lost at Clacton Pier and we
welcome what has been done through initiatives such as the job retention scheme,”
he added.

are encouraging signs that the Government intends to continue to provide
assistance. Only this week DEFRA has contacted us about the Seaquarium and asked
how we are managing to look after our fish and animals and what support can be

Council has also asked us to join them in supplying further information to the
Government on the way forward for tourism.

are being consulted and asked about the issues we face and this – along with
finding new initiatives to raise money – gives us a certain level of confidence
for the future, although there is no doubt it will be very tough.”


PHOTO: Directors Elliot Ball (left) and Billy Ball (right) with the National Piers Society’s Tim Wardley in Clacton last year.

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