Bosses at Clacton Pier have revealed that work on phase two of a £4m development to upgrade its attractions has overrun, but assurances have been given that it will be ready for the new season.
The scheme is ‘slightly behind schedule’ due to extra work being required than was initially anticipated, but it is still expected that the central concourse will reopen on time for customers at Easter.
The area currently under development contains some of the oldest parts of the 147-year-old structure, with the pier’s management admitting that this section had been“a particular challenge”.
Pier director Billy Ball said the in-house team carrying out the work was PIER doing an excellent job.
He commented:“All the preparations for the concrete repairs have been completed and by the end of the week the work on the 1930s concrete beams will be finished.
“Next week the new steel girders will be going in and that will be followed by reinforcements and con- crete slabs.
“There has been some slippage and that is inevitable when you start looking at an area which is almost 150-years-old.
“It revealed issues we had not anticipated but we are still confident to open that section for the main season.
“It may just mean that we will not have the final wood effect surface in place but that can be achieved after Easter without delaying the re-opening of that section of the Pier.”
Once completed,the second phase of the development will provide a large undercover area at the front of the attraction which will make it weather tight.
It will create the largest amusement arcade in the district inn the summer and can be used for other events from October to January.
In the second week of January,a £45,000 replacement gas supply was installed by contractors at the front of the pier to improve capacity to the site by 500 per cent.
The new gas supply is needed to support the new attractions that have been added as part of the pier’s redevelopment in order to make it a 52-week a year tourism business.
Please one of the development, which included Discovery Bay children’s soft play centre,Skull Point adventure golf,Dockside Dodgems,The Galley Restaurant and Captain’s Table Takeaway, was completed on schedule and on budget last summer.
On 24 January the pier is holding a special event to recruit over 30 new members of staff to fill positions at these new attractions and facilities in time for the start of the season at February’s half-term school holiday.