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Pier setback shocks resort

PUBLISHED: 19:26 23 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

DISAPPOINTMENT today greeted the shock news that the team behind the project to build a £15 million new pier for Felixstowe had scrapped its plans.

The resort is still reeling at the announcement by the charitable trust which owns the pier - and now faces watching the crumbling landmark being demolished or left to fall into the sea.

DISAPPOINTMENT today greeted the shock news that the team behind the project to build a £15 million new pier for Felixstowe had scrapped its plans.

The resort is still reeling at the announcement by the charitable trust which owns the pier – and now faces watching the crumbling landmark being demolished or left to fall into the sea.

The leader of Suffolk Coastal council Ray Herring expressed his disappointment at the decision, which came just weeks after the authority agreed a £5,000 grant towards a feasibility study.

"It is a shame that the trustees felt they had no choice but to pull the shutters down on this ambitious project that could have made a significant contribution to the continuing development of Felixstowe," said Mr Herring.

"Although it is disappointing news, they deserve credit for recognising the financial hurdles facing them and taking this tough decision now, rather than spending public money from this council and other sources on a feasibility study for a high risk project.

"I note that the owners of the amusement centre on the pier will now be pressing ahead with some redevelopment works, and this council will continue to co-operate with the trustees in their work to determine and safeguard the future of the pier."

The trust has written to the council to thank it for its interest in the project and express appreciation for the help and support it gave,

It has also written to Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, the county and town councils, the East of England Tourist Board, and the Eastern England Development Agency.

The Felixstowe Pier Trust wanted to provide a "mega experience" to bring people to the town and revive its ailing tourist industry.

The complex would have featured a new pier stretching 200 yards out to sea with five decks, one with a 100ft diameter revolving restaurant.

Other features would have included 10-pin bowling, shops, snack bars, family entertainment centre, casino, conference centre, bars, and a heritage and climatic centre, and a landing stage for pleasure boats.

It would have created 150 new jobs and injected an estimated £3.9 million in to the town each year.

But the trust had become frustrated at the time it was taking to get the scheme started – and was left deeply disappointed by the attitude of the community and councillors.

It needed to raise £50,000 for a feasibility study, needed to persuade the National Lottery and other grant-giving bodies to support the venture, and the failure to get the money was one of its reasons for abandoning the project.

INTERNET LINKS: www.piers.co.uk

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

See Page 6 for the bumpy ride the project endured.

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