Wheel to stay longer?

THE Wheel of Weston may sit on the seafront longer than planned this winter – and those behind the attraction say their aim is to one day bring an even higher one to town.

The 40m-high landmark was due to leave town between November and Easter, but operators are considering staying on when the Grand Pier opens.

Bosses at Great City Attractions, the company behind the worldwide wheels, say they will make a decision at the end of this week.

They hope the crowds expected to descend on Weston when the multi-million pound Grand Pier opens will spell success for them.

They say if they stay on they anticipate that the Wheel of Weston could get very busy.

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Operations manager John Lowery said: “We were supposed to leave in November, but are currently considering extending that.

“The season hasn’t been as good as last year because of the work on the seafront, but once the pier opens I expect that will be different.

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“The success of the Wheel of Weston is on a par with those elsewhere in the world.

“We hope one day we can bring an even higher wheel to town, perhaps 20m higher than it is now.”

Great City Attractions has been granted permission to have the wheel in place until the end of 2014, after North Somerset Council’s destination management team said the scheme would reap great rewards for the town.

It operates next to the motorcycle parking area and the tourist information centre in Beach Road.

The planning permission is for the wheel to run between March and November for five years and to be taken down and dismantled in between those times.

Great City Attractions planning manager Max Carlish added: “We have planning consent to operate a wheel on the seafront up to and including the summer of 2014 and are looking forward to returning to Weston during this time.”

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