THE new boss of Walton Pier is promising a massive £1.5million boost to breathe new life into the popular tourist attraction.

Russell Bolesworth hopes to make the pier one of the biggest crowd-pullers in Essex and put the resort back on the map.

Cosmetically he envisages a “prettier pier”, with lights stretch- ing along its length, a larger ar - cade and more rides at the fun fair.

Inside his plan is to have a “soft play” area for children and extend the bar and bowling area.

It won’t be until autumn Mr Bolesworth submits a planning application to Tendring Council detailing his vision for the third longest pier in the UK.

He said: “At the moment half of the building is storage so we’re going to cut that down and use at least 50 per cent more of the space.

“Then we want to glaze it on both sides so there are panoramic views of the sea. It will look amazing.

“We also want to get the big wheel back and my wish would be to create a garden space so custom- ers could dine outside and enjoy the sunshine.

“When the changes are made to the standard I’d like, the pier will be significantly better.”

More than 30 summer jobs are likely to be created as a result.

Mr Bolesworth added: “People love the pier. There are people who have been coming here for donkey’s years who now bring their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but I’ve gone as far as I can go without doing a huge refurb.”