Grand Pier's future uncertain as Weston enters tier 3
- Credit: Weston Grand Pier
Weston's Grand Pier owner has admitted a lack of stable visitors to the Grand Pier throughout the year has left many uncertainties looming over the seaside attraction.
Michelle Michael MBE had hoped to welcome residents back to the Grand Pier on December 3, but the Government announcement that 99 per cent of the UK would enter tier 2 and 3 following November's lockdown prevented this from happening.
North Somerset has been placed under a 'very high level' of alert, tier 3, which will be reassessed on December 16.
Michelle said: "The pandemic has had a huge impact on the pier - being closed for Easter and the limited number of visitors afterwards, particularly.
"I can only hope that we survive long enough, without regular customers, to reopen following Covid."
The owner also expressed her disappointment in setting back the attraction's Christmas plans as Weston enters tier 3.
"We are very disappointed at the Grand Pier as we were ready to open with our Christmas renovations and Christmas grotto.
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"Of course, we understand the reasons given for placing Weston in tier 3 - though it still came as a surprise when the announcement was made."
The Art Deco structure has hosted events via its social media pages during the second lockdown - including a virtual Christmas light switch-on paired with a charity concert live stream.
"We will adhere to the rules and, like most businesses, hope coronavirus cases drop in number by December 16.
"Until then, we will continue to run virtual events and musicals - so stay tuned."
In October, it was announced that Weston residents would be given free access to the Grand Pier following the release of the MyGrandPier card - though this was short-lived due to the November lockdown.
North Somerset Council's executive for tourism, Mike Solomon, admitted he shared some concern for the uncertainties surrounding the 'iconic pier'.
Cllr Solomon said: "The uncertainty has been a real problem because they have spent tens of thousands on a Christmas tree, decorations and a Santa’s grotto in the hope we would be in tier 2.
"They have not received any government grants so, financially, it is a real struggle for them.
"I am hoping that next year can be a bumper year for the pier and all our resorts and we see far more staycations. We have exciting plans as a council going forward and need our iconic pier to be part of these."
To keep up-to-date with news and events on the Grand Pier, log on to www.grandpier.co.uk