Pier pledge as facelift begins

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“WE’RE going to look after it – and love it.”

That was the pledge from the new owners of North Pier as they unveiled the first phase of work carried out on the Victorian landmark.

Peter Sedgwick and his wife Sue with daughters Gayner (left) and Renee

Peter Sedgwick and his wife Sue with daughters Gayner (left) and Renee

Less than two weeks after purchasing the Grade II listed structure, Peter Sedgwick and family have already started the massive restoration project.

Seating and metalwork within the main entrance has been repainted in the pier’s new signature colours of maroon and cream.

Work will now continue to repaint the seating along the rest of the boardwalk.

Other plans include the re-introduction of a tram service to take visitors to the end of the pier.

It is also proposed to illuminate it at night, while the 50p admission charge has been dropped.

Mr Sedgwick, who already operates rides on South and Central piers, said: “We want to keep it Victorian style. We are going to paint it, look after it and love it.

“We will be refurbishing every day. We know it’s going to take three or four years to get it where we want it, but we have already started.

“The people who come here this summer will see a difference.

“Removing the admission charge is already making a difference and last weekend it was very busy.”

Blackpool Mayor Coun Don Clapham praised the Sedgwicks for their belief in the town.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see a local family investing in their own town in this way, and it will pay, there is no doubt about it.”

Resort entertainer Joey Blower said: “Peter and his family are dedicated to making Blackpool the top UK visitor destination, and top visitor destination worldwide.”

The Sedgwicks bought North Pier, which opened in 1863, for an undisclosed sum from Six Piers, part of the Trevor Hemmings stable of companies.