The new boss of Walton Pier is promising a £1.5 million investment to revamp the popular Essex tourist attraction in a bid to boost tourist footfall.
The famous seafront construction is one of the town’s top attractions and the third longest pier in the country.
“People love the pier,” commented Russell Bolesworth, who purchased it for an undisclosed sum last July. “There are people who have been coming here for donkey’s years who now bring their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but I’ve gone as far as I can go without doing a huge refurb.”
Bolesworth envisages a “prettier pier”, with lights stretching along its length, an extended arcade and more rides at the fun fair. Inside, his plan is to have a “soft play” area for children and extend the bar and bowling area.
“At the moment half of the building is storage so we’re going to cut that down and use at least 50 percent more of the space,” continued Bolesworth. “Then we want to glaze it on both sides so there are panoramic views of the sea. It will look amazing.”
We also want to get the big wheel back and my wish would be to create a garden space so customers could dine outside and enjoy the sunshine
It won’t be until Autumn that Bolesworth submits a planning application to Tendring Council, detailing his vision. More than 30 summer jobs are likely to be created as a result.
“We also want to get the big wheel back and my wish would be to create a garden space so customers could dine outside and enjoy the sunshine,” said Bolesworth. “When the changes are made to the standard I’d like, the pier will be significantly better.”
One of Essex’s leading tourist attractions, as of 2011 Walton Pier recorded an income topping £1.3 million every year.