New thrill ride unveiled for pier
PUBLISHED: 12:38 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:38 13 February 2020
A new rollercoaster is ready to be installed at Clacton's historic pier ahead of the summer tourist season.
Owners of the pier have bought the Looping Star ride from another park in Aberdeen and it is hoped it will be in place and open to customers by the spring.
It weighs more than 100 tonnes - 40 tonnes of steel and 64 tonnes of concrete - has a 10-metre high loop and LED lighting.
It is set to be one of the top rides at the park, along with the log flume which was bought from the same park earlier this year.
Director Billy Ball said he was excited to introduce two new rides this year.
"We were pleased to have been able to secure the log flume but when the opportunity arose to acquire the Looping Star as well, we had to go for it," he said.
"Both have been bought from a relative's park in Aberdeen and therefore have always been in the family as such.
"They will be completely refurbished before being installed and I am sure they will be a big pull for our customers. It has a real wow factor."
The Looping Star is an upgrade on the previous rollercoaster, Stella's Revenge.
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Stella's Revenge had occupied the pier since 2011 and is now being carefully dismantled so it can be sent to a ride operator in South America.
It replaced the original Steel Stella rollercoaster, which had been a star attraction from the 1930s to the 1970s.
The log flume is being built in the area previously occupied by the pier's go-karts, which will now be moved to the middle of the pier.
Part of the Looping Star structure has already arrived and will become visible from the coastline in the coming weeks.
It is hoped to start pouring the concrete by the end of this week.
Alex Porter, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: "Tourism is an integral part of the economy in Clacton and Tendring, providing more than 6,000 full time jobs in the district.
"As a whole the industry is worth nearly £373m a year.
"It is great to see so much private sector confidence, which shows how far Tendring has come as a visitor destination.
"This investment, coupled with great events such as the Sea and Beach Festivals and of course the Clacton Airshow puts our district on the map for tourists."
The Looping Star was made by Italian firm Pinfari, the world's most successful transportable rollercoaster manufacturers.