Felixstowe: Hopes high that pier model will get people excited about project

MODEL maker Russell Clarke is hoping his scale replica showing what Felixstowe’s multi-million pound new pier will look like will get people behind the project.

Campaigners say the pier is desperately needed to regenerate Felixstowe’s fortunes as a seaside resort and bring visitors to the town to help the trade of businesses on the seafront and in the town centre.

Mr Clarke, 84, took about a month to build the model, working from artist’s impressions and plans of the proposed development.

Pier owner Stan Threadwell has submitted plans to demolish the current pier and the construction of a beachside leisure complex sticking out over the sea and featuring a range of attractions.

These will include amusements and leisure activities, a function suite for 325 people, bars and restaurants, and a high-tech shipping observation tower.

“I really hope that if people see the model, it will get them excited about the new pier and really get them behind the project,” said Mr Clarke.

“It was a real challenge to make it but I am very pleased with it.”

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He used all his inventiveness in the design – including using deodorant can tops, a Costa coffee cup top for the dome, noticeboard pins, cocktail sticks, acetate for windows, chicken grit, and plywood – and thanked his daughter Pauline and son David and his brother Peter for helping to collect all the pieces.

Pier operations director Andrew Green said the model was “absolutely superb”. The company was waiting for Suffolk Coastal planners to give their verdict and aims to start work on the project next year and have it open in 2014.