CLACTON Pier has unveiled £4million plans to turn the iconic landmark into one of East Anglia’s premier attractions.

The major scheme includes the construction of a new £500,000 indoor and outdoor adventure golf course over two levels, as well as a £500,000 children’s play area.

The new undercover heated facility will also include new dodgems on the first floor.

The pier’s bank has now given the final go ahead for the finances which will see a whopping £4million invested.

Pier director Billy Ball said the aim is to make the pier a 52-week-a-year attraction that will help bring in extra visitors to the district.

“We had a scheme on the drawing board but just how far we could take it depended on what money was available to us,” he said.

“We were always going to make significant improvements but now we can proceed with Plan A as we have the £4million we were seeking to borrow and pay back over the next 20 years."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Blueprints - Billy and Elliot Ball look over the plans for Clacton Pier

He added: “The aim is to create the largest multi-use indoor entertainment centre in the country.

“We have been building our financial reputation for the past nine years since we took over Clacton Pier and obviously the bank has now backed us in the best possible way.

“We could never have funded this development ourselves as we are ploughing almost every penny we take back into the annual repair and maintenance of what is a very expensive structure to keep up to scratch.”

The 6.5-acre pier is the largest in Europe and Mr Ball said every square inch must pay its way to be sustainable."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Plans - How the new building on Clacton Pier will look

“This is the biggest single investment in the pier since it was built 147 years ago and it is about taking the attraction to the next level,” he added.

“We cannot stand still and have to keep growing and improving the customer experience while staying true to our traditions and heritage as a Victorian pier.

“This is also very much about our own commitment to Clacton and Tendring. By starting the preparatory work at the end of last season we have not lost any time while the money has been coming through and means we are in a good position.

“People will have seen a lot of work taking place over the past few months. A new transformer has been installed to create the power supply we will need in the future, the 1930s barrelled roof has been stripped off and panels taken out on the east side ready for the new attractions and facilities.”

The development is due to be completed early in 2019.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Changes taking place to front corner and east side of pier

PIER bosses hope to draw in visitors all year round by creating an undercover heated facility.

The two main features will be a £500,000 indoor and outdoor adventure golf course over two levels being built by an American company as well as a £500,000 children’s play area.

Those two facilities alone will take up 30,000sq feet and will be in a heated area with special landscaping and lighting.

There will also be new dodgems on the first-floor level, a new food and drink section, enhancements to the Seaquarium, a large versatile events space for the winter months and an enlarged amusement arcade.

This is being created on the eastern side of the pier with panoramic views out over the beach and will embrace a 1930s art deco look and feel. Included in the plans are new external low energy lighting and external landscaping.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Rides and attractions removed ready for work to begin on adventure golf course

The pier has all rides operating this week for half term and will remain open throughout the development. The rides will be operating each weekend and every day through the Easter school holidays.