CLACTON Pier’s oldest building is set to be restored to its former glory after bosses won a £50,000 Government grant.

The Jolly Roger – or Pier Pavilion as it was then known – was built in 1893.

The building has largely been unused for the past 30 years, but is now set to be revamped thanks to cash from the Government’s Coastal Revival Fund after an application was submitted by the Clacton Pier Company.

The funding has been ring-fenced to survey the 126-year-old building’s structure, develop a condition report, provide concept drawings, structural designs and help to calculate budget costs for the revamp.

The overall aim is to modernise the Jolly Roger while retaining its historical features and be able to use it 52 weeks of the year.

The venue could then be home to sporting and entertainment events, conferences, meetings, weddings and community activities.

Pier director Billy Ball said it is good news for the project and the funding is the first step towards getting the concept down on paper.

“We have a lot of work to do, but this money will enable us to speed up the design process,” he added.

“It will also help us to be ready to obtain the next stage funding to deliver and complete the full programme of works.”

The Jolly Roger helped the landmark to become a leisure pier; rather than just a working platform as it began life under the control of its first owners, the Woolwich Steam Packet Company.

It was a popular entertainment venue for decades, but it has been mainly used for storage over the past 30 years.

In 2017, it became home to a seasonal circus presented by Circus Fantasia and that is due to continue again this year.

The project is one of 23 Coastal Revival Fund applications that will receive a grant during this round of funding, which hopes to revive important local heritage assets that have faced neglect.

Clacton MP Giles Watling welcomed the decision to grant the cash to the Jolly Roger project.

He said: “Clacton Pier is a local asset that could bring tourists, and prosperity into our area.

“I am pleased that the Government has recognised that, and I would like to thank the Clacton Pier Company for lodging this bid for funding.

“I look forward to visiting the revived Pier Pavilion when it is complete.”

Mr Watling said the fund builds on the Government’s intention to deliver a landmark deal for the tourism industry to attract more visitors and help drive major economic growth.

James Brokenshire, Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary, added: “It is exciting to see money from the Coastal Revival Fund help bring our wonderful coastal historic assets back into economic use.”

“This is so important in demonstrating our support to coastal communities.”