Before the month is out, Clacton Pier will complete the installation of a transformer that will facilitate its transition to becoming a true 52-week a year attraction.
Clacton Pier will be in ‘complete darkness’ for up to five days this week as final touches are made to £1m-plus renovations that will create its biggest transformation for half a decade.
Directors at owners Clacton Pier Company plan to turn the structure into an undercover venue that will enable it to attract visitors all year round.
Rides and other equipment inside the entrance and under the concourse have had to be removed and stored elsewhere in preparation for the scheme,opening up more than 20,000 square feet of space for the revamp.
A new £75,000 transformer will provide power to run the 6.5-acre site, replacing the pier’s previous power supply that dated all the way back to the 1930s.
It has already been installed,but a full switch-over is planned to begin next Monday and will require the pier to close to the public for five days. Pier director Billy Ball told the Clacton Gazette that the final details were being rubber-stamped with the bank in order for the work to go ahead.
He said: “Preparations began back in October and a great deal has been achieved in a short term to get the site ready for the construction side of the project to get underway.
“We had hoped to be in a position before Christmas to reveal the full extent of what we are planning,but we now aim to be able to do that later this month.
“We do not want to unveil the whole scheme until all the paperwork is completed and I think people will be really excited when they see what is to be undertaken over the next year or so.”
He explained that the new transformer was about more than simply replacing its antiquated predecessor with a safer model.
“It will serve our current needs but also the ambitions we have to grow in the future,” Ball commented.
“Being outside the boundary of the Pier it will also allow the fire service to isolate the power before having to tackle any incidents that might occur on the structure itself.”
While the pier is closed, special generators will be brought in to run its Seaquarium and food out- lets, and only maintenance and security staff will be allowed on site.
Temporary arrangements will also be made for the navigational aids at the end of the structure used by boats.
“The pier will look in complete darkness at times and it may seem as though it has been closed down,” Ball added.
“However, nothing could be further from the truth and it will soon return to life with the most exciting upgrade for five decades taking place.”