Work underway to repair battered pier

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Builders are working round the clock to get Blackpool’s famous North Pier back to its best ready for the summer season.

Already £300,000 has been invested in restoring the structure after it was torn apart by a storm in December, causing £1m of damage.

Bosses hope to re-open the 150-year-old attraction fully on April 5 to launch their pantomime but admit more bad weather in recent months has caused delays.

Manager Dominic Herdman said: “We’re doing our best, progressing as fast as we can.

“We had to make sure the pier wasn’t going to disintegrate.

“It was heartbreaking to see the damage but we have a responsibility to bring it back.

“The Sedgwicks [the pier’s owners] always wanted to renovate the pier and bring it back to its former glory.

“Events like the storm are setbacks but they’re not the end of the game.”

Funding for the huge project, anticipated to cost a total of £600,000, is coming from the Sedgwicks.

Bosses have said suppliers are extending credit terms for the venue while it waits to reopen to visitors in order to invest profits in the project.

Mr Herdman added: “The family is totally committed and our guys are working flat out.”

Certain sections of the pier are still too unsafe for work to be started on though.

While windows have been replaced in the Carousel bar the weather is still holding some sway over proceedings, making it difficult to replace the 8ft by 4ft panes in the Grade Two listed Sun Lounge.

Mr Herdman said: “In January and February we had a few stormy and windy events so that caused problems.”

Structural and carpentry work is almost complete ready for the anticipated reopening.

The next project will see the eight workmen look at restoring the cosmetics of the pier and fitting all windows across the attraction.

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