First look: The new Felixstowe Pier opens to the public

Craig and Bella Ingram at the Felixstowe Pier opening. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Craig and Bella Ingram at the Felixstowe Pier opening. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

After almost a year of reconstruction, the first part of new Felixstowe Pier opened to the public.

Residents, visitors and other members of the public were able to step inside the new Boardwalk Cafe and Bar and the new Amusements arcade on Saturday July 29 – ahead of the proposed August schedule.

Opening shortly after the start of the summer break, families of all ages were able to enjoy the games and entertainments inside the new arcade as well as grabbing a bite to eat on the boardwalk.

The multi-million pound revamp for the creation of the new 39 metre long building began back in September 2016.

The development, which is thought to have cost around £3m, was originally planned as a 73m building with a semi-circular rear part of the pier, which included a function suite seating 325 people, a second storey and a shipping observation tower with walkway.

The view of the prom from the new-look pier. Picture: NIGE BROWN

The view of the prom from the new-look pier. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

However, this part of the plan had to be removed because of the enormous costs of offshore works.

Pier owner Stan Threadwell said: “If the revamp proves a success, there is every possibility that it could be extended again to include additional features in the years ahead.”

Alexandra Carr pictured at the opening day on Saturday. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Alexandra Carr pictured at the opening day on Saturday. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

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The section of pier protruding over the waves will be kept – as it has proved too expensive to demolish – but there will be no public access to this part as it still remains in a hazardous state.

Felixstowe Pier announced the opening of the pier, and their new website, on their Facebook page.

Inside the new amusement arcade. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Inside the new amusement arcade. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson said: “We are thrilled to announce that we will be opening our doors ahead of our scheduled August opening.

“Our new website and social media pages will be up and running soon where you can view all information on the new and exciting offerings at Felixstowe Pier. Thank you for your patience – it will be worth the wait!”

Pixie Mowles at the pier opening. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Pixie Mowles at the pier opening. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

Residents from Felixstowe were quick to praise the projects development via social media.

One resident said: “Well done on investing in the town, very exciting for us locals!”

Ewan Keenan-Jones

Ewan Keenan-Jones - Credit: Archant

Another person said: “Great to hear. Well done to all concerned on getting it looking so good and ahead of schedule, nice to see.”

One woman said: “So excited, Felixstowe needs this. Glad to see that they are making so many improvements.”

Members of the public were able to step inside the new Boardwalk Cafe Bar along Felixstowe Pier. Pic

Members of the public were able to step inside the new Boardwalk Cafe Bar along Felixstowe Pier. Picture: MEGAN GOODWIN - Credit: Archant

An official opening ceremony is understood to be planned for September.