As one pier entered administration down in Hastings, another prepares itself for a full on, full year round operation. Clacton Pier uses the power of amusements to drive footfall.
The owner of Clacton Pier is prepping the attraction ahead of an announcement about a £1m-plus investment. Work is already underway to ensure that the six-acre site is prepared in time to accommodate changes that are aimed at making it a 52-week a year facility.
The Clacton Pier Company is expected to unveil details about the significant investment some time before Christmas. Directors Billy and Elliot Ball are in the process of putting together the final touches of what will be a major revamp of their business.
Billy Ball told the Clacton Gazette: “It is important we are prepared for what will be the biggest change and busiest season for the 146-year-old attraction for many years.
“The pier will be remaining open throughout this process and customers will soon start to notice significant changes and improvements.
“We expect it will take around 18 months to complete the project.”
The company has already drawn up a master plan for the pier’s new configuration and it is understood that the main structural changes will begin in the New Year.
Rides undercover on the left of the attraction’s entrance will be moved outside to make way for new attractions.
In the meantime, all 17 of the pier’s rides have been stripped down and have undergone a thorough inspection by independent specialists Amusement Device Inspections.
Ball explained that although the programme is undertaken every year, this time he is hoping to have it completed and the rides reassembled and operational by Christmas, rather than in February as is usually the case.
He said: “It is a large and important job and ensures all our rides will have had their full MoT ready for next season.
“They are all stripped down to their component parts and tested mechanically, structurally and electrically.
“We employ the inspection company about 30 days a year and it is money well spent to have that peace of mind that all our rides are up to the highest standards.”