Pier's new rollercoaster ride set to welcome first thrill seekers by summer
- Credit: Archant
A new rollercoaster will be welcoming its first riders at Clacton Pier by early summer, after the building of the structure was put on hold following storm damage.
Work on preparing the new thrill ride, named the Looping Star, is progressing well at the town's landmark attraction and all the refurbished component parts have now been delivered.
Building work was temporarily put on hold following the damage done to part of the pier's deck, after it collapsed into the sea back in February 2020 following storms.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit – meaning work at the pier was paused.
Billy Ball, managing director, said: "We bought the Looping Star in 2019 and for various reasons – mainly due to the storm damage – we have not been able to get it up as quickly as we wanted.
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“Having spent the money, we need to be generating some income from it and we are confident that will happen by early summer, probably by the end of May."
The entire structure is likely to be in place by the end of April, with a range of tests and procedures needing to be carried out before customers can get onboard.
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The Looping Star – which will have a three car train with 12 seats – is part of the pier’s 150th birthday celebrations this year and is replacing the old Stella’s Revenge which was sold to a theme park in South America.
The Looping Star includes a 10-metre loop and was bought from a park in Scotland which is owned by relatives of Mr Ball.
It was originally made by the Italian firm, Pinfari, the oldest and most successful transportable rollercoaster manufacturers in the world.
An observation wheel – which is going through the planning process with Tendring District Council – is expected to be in place ready for when the site reopens for business after lockdown.
“The earliest date the government has given is April 12 and we are working towards that for certain areas of the pier to be back operating,” said Mr Ball.
“At this stage we expect it to be rides but it could include some other attractions, depending on the guidelines.”