Clacton Pier has described the decision by the government to remove AGCs from the list of non-essential businesses set to open on 15 June as “outrageous,” after the attraction invested significant time and money into ensuring a safe return to business.
The Essex landmark was prepared to re-open its Pier Casino this Monday, and had spent a week deep cleaning the area, distancing machines, purchasing PPE and returning staff from furlough in line with government guidance.
“We have followed the Government restrictions to the letter throughout this very challenging period,” pier director Billy Ball told The Daily Gazette. “We were delighted when it was announced that we would be able to re-open the Pier Casino from Monday.”
“Everything was in place for staff and customers to return in safety and then we were told on Friday that the Government had changed its mind. It is a bitter pill to swallow and will cost us and others in our industry many thousands of pounds at a time when we really need some income.”
The Pier Casino was set to join Candy Corner, Fish and Chips at the Pier and Tubby Isaacs Takeaway as parts of the pier able to serve customers, however, as with many arcades across the country, the last-minute announcement from DCMS threw plans into turmoil. “Our district relies on tourism,” Tendring Council leader Neil Stock told the Gazette. “Many attractions, including Clacton Pier, will be significantly hit by this change in Government guidance.”