Parts of Clacton Pier left untouched for decades are given a makeover in first phase of refurbishment plan
PUBLISHED: 13:57 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:23 03 July 2017
Work to make Clacton Pier an all-year-round attraction has begun this week.
The pier is set to undergo a seven-figure sum makeover this year, with more than £225,000 already invested in the July repairs.
The work is focused on modernising and strengthening the landmark’s infrastructure, ready for phase two of its facelift at the end of the season.
Billy Ball, pier director, said: “We have already removed an old workshop on the east side and re-concreted ready for new attractions later this year.
“People have started to notice that something is taking place and we will be putting up a sign on the wall on the east side saying ‘watch this space – more fun to come.’
“We hope to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum but we can achieve much more in the summer when the weather is in our favour and the long-term gain will be worth the short-term pain.”
The refurbishment work is concentrating on areas which have gone untouched for 90 years, and follows £12,000 spent on a new sign and £25,000 for an upgraded frontage.
This week, repairs to the piles and beams on the east side of the pier will take place, as well as work on the car park.
The parking area on the pier will also be removed and replaced with more outdoor seating, which will attract more food vendors and limit the number of vehicles able to access the area.
On the west side, a new transformer will be installed to provide power to the landmark and its new features.
“We will be doubling the amount of power available and getting rid of an old transformer which has been there since the year dot,” Mr Ball added.
“The replacement will be to modern standards and much more environmentally friendly.
“This is all just a taster of what is to come over the next 12 months and beyond as we try to make every square foot of the pier to pay for itself.
“We have six acres of real estate sticking out into the sea and when we took over nothing was being done with about four acres - and that had to change.
“Everything we do is about sustainability and making a 146-year-old structure relevant to today’s leisure needs.”