Grand Pier countdown begins

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 October 2010

Weston Grand Pier.

Weston Grand Pier.

Archant

WITH just two hours to go until the Grand Pier opens excitement is growing in Weston.

Traders in the town centre have been stocking up the shelves and hiring in extra staff in the hope that crowds will be flocking in to spend their money and help boost Weston’s economy.

The eagerly awaited opening of the iconic structure has been the talk of the town, and indeed the world, for the past two years and the big day has finally arrived.

Gates to the £51million pound pier will open at 10am today (Sat) and queues of excited revellers are expected.

Owners of The Rock Shop Newsagents in Victoria Square, opposite the pier, Pete and Jean Swaysland, say they have been holding their breath in anticipation for this mornings opening.

Pete, aged 56, said: “We are not sure how it’s going to go but we have been restocking the shelves and we do anticipate a busy half-term holiday next week.

“Out of 21 years of trading the last three have been the worst with all the ongoing construction work on the seafront, but with the pier completed, and Pier Square nearly finished, we are anticipating a big boost.”

Pete, whose shop sells gifts, fudge and rock, says they are still waiting for postcard manufactures to release the latest postcards with the new pier on, but feel sure they will be a big hit once they arrive.

Co-owner of Lacosta’s Seaside Bar and Restaurant in Beach Road, Louis Macrides, said he too is hopeful of attracting more customers this weekend and has hired extra staff for the big day.

He said: “It’s a hard one to predict as we just don’t know how it will go or how busy we may be.

“It’s a fabulous thing for the town and we are looking forward to it and we will definitely be going to the opening.”

*KEEP logging onto this website for the latest news and photos of today’s opening.

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