Pier opening pulls in town trade

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 October 2010

Pier Square weston

Pier Square weston

Archant

BUSINESS boomed for traders of all sizes in Weston last weekend as the Grand Pier brought some welcome cash to the town.

More than 100,000 Westonians and tourists descended on the seafront on Saturday and Sunday as the long-awaited £51million pier was reopened, with their numbers swelled by the start of school half term.

Businesses in the town benefited from the influx of people, with some shopkeepres saying it was the best day of trade they had seen since the old Grand Pier was standing.

William Bollom, owner of the Olympia entertainment centre in Regent Street, thinks the pier opening will have a positive effect on the town in the long run as well as the short term.

He said: “It’s been a long time since I saw that many people in Weston. We had a good weekend and it was nice to see so many people here.

“It’s been a hard 18 months without the pier and Kerry and Michelle (Michael - pier owners) have really created something very special up there.

“I honestly believe this is the boost Weston needs to compete with other seaside towns and bring itself into the 21st century.”

Nick Cooke, manager of the Sovereign Shopping Centre, said: “We certainly were a lot busier over the weekend than we have been and there were a lot of people around.

“The weekend saw a rise in the number of people visiting the centre, and it was good to see so many people around.”

Tony Wahied, owner of the Seaside Café located opposite the new pier on the seafront, said: “It was very busy. There were a lot more people than we’ve ever had at this time of year.

“It was the same as at peak times in the summer, and the weather on Sunday, and then Monday as well helped.”

Spyros Kasiounis, manager of the neighbouring Waterfront Café, added: “We had a busy day, it was much better than we expected at this time of year.

“With the pier not opening in the summer, we’re hoping this will help us to have a good late season now.”

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