'Most popular ride' to become permanent feature at coastal resort

Visitors got to have a birds eye view of Clacton on the new observation wheel at the pier. Picture:

The big wheel at Clacton will be become a permanent part of the seaside attraction’s offer - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

One of the "most popular rides" at Clacton Pier will become a permanent part of the seaside attraction’s offer. 

The big wheel, which operated from June to October as  part of the pier’s 150th birthday celebrations, has been bought by Clacton Pier after leasing it for the first time last summer. 

The 33-metre high wheel boasts 24 cars and can take up to 144 guests at one time. 

Visitors got to have a birds eye view of Clacton on the new observation wheel at the pier. Picture:

The Ferris wheel has 24 cars and can take up to 144 guests at one time - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Director Billy Ball said that buying the wheel is a major statement of intent and a show of faith in Clacton and its future.

“This is another significant investment for us. It would have been easy to continue to lease the ride from its previous owners, but we wanted to add it to our offering on a permanent basis,” he said.

“We may well have to take it down for a few months in the winter, and for its regular maintenance, but it is now our property, and it is here to stay.

“We are delighted to be able to make this announcement which we feel is an important step to help return Clacton to premier league status.”

Visitors got to have a birds eye view of Clacton on the new observation wheel at the pier. Picture:

It is hoped the Ferris wheel will be open for the February half term - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

It is due to return from its winter break in Wales next week and the aim is to have the wheel ready for visitors during February half term.

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The decision to purchase the ride came following a successful introductory season and planning permission being granted by Tendring District Council.

Mr Ball added that the ride pulled in the crowds last summer and helped to increase footfall overall.

The ride is due to start arriving back from Wales on January 11 and the main structure will begin to be rebuilt the following day, weather permitting.

Preparations for the return of the wheel have already begun this week with its site being made ready.

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