Clacton Pier bosses have been given the green light to embark on a £4m investment programme designed to make the site a year-round attraction.
A £4m finance package has been finalised for works at Clacton Pier with bosses looking to improve the site’s year-round offering and establish it as the the east coast’s premier leisure destination.
The Victorian structure will see £1m spent on a golf course and children’s play area that will be housed inside of a specially covered and heated area.
Remaining funds will see the current arcade greatly expanded to accommodate the increased footfall the development is expected to generate.
Director Billy Ball said that establishing the pier as an all-weather leisure destination is no small matter but should offer a great return for the whole town, not just the location itself.
“This is the biggest single investment in the pier since it was built 147 years ago and it is about taking the attraction to the next level. We cannot stand still and have to keep growing and improving the customer experience while staying true to our traditions and heritage as a Victorian pier.
“This is also very much about our own commitment to Clacton and Tendring moving forwards.”
He added that the financial approval of what he called the business’s “Plan A” is affirmation of the economic good health of the attraction at present and the potential of the pier once the investment plans are fully actioned.
“The aim is to create the largest multi-use indoor entertainment centre in the country. We have been building our financial reputation for the past nine years since we took over Clacton Pier and obviously the bank has now backed us in the best possible way,” he said.
“We could never have funded this development ourselves as we are ploughing almost every penny we take back into the annual repair and maintenance of what is a very expensive structure to keep up to scratch.”
Echoing such positive sentiments, Paul Honeywood, Tendring district councillor for the Pier ward, said: “I think this investment is really important to Clacton and Clacton’s tourism industry.
“Firstly it will encourage people to visit Clacton, but secondly it shows that people have got confidence now in Clacton and are willing to invest. As a council we have looked at tourism as an industry for the town to pursue, and with people investing money to encourage tourism it is terrific.”