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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 93

Date:- 05 April 2003

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PIER PLEASURE AT NEW FAMILY EVENT

SOUTHPORT will celebrate the restoration of its landmark Victorian pier this summer with two-day festival.

The first Southport Pier Extravaganza promises an action-packed family fun two-day programme on July 11, including costumed characters, street artists and musical entertainment and promises a spectacular finale event.

Lord Fearn, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said:- “Another new event is great news for Southport. Since its restoration Southport pier has been attracting record crowds during the two days. The Southport seafront will be buzzing as visitors enjoy the spectacular free programme of entertainment.”

Walkabout acts Sister Ruth and Mary, who have appeared on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, will wreak havoc dancing to Samba and Poles Apart - ‘scurvy sea dog’ stilt walkers, will entertain the crowds with music and comedy.

Tourism bosses say the event will attract thousands of extra visitors to the resort during the two-days. Since the new-look pier opened in May last year, 350,000 people have visited, far outstripping the annual figure of 100,000 who used the pier prior to its closure in 1996.

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE RESTORATION OF SOUTHPORT PIER

THE ongoing £7-million restoration of Southport Pier has taken another important step forward with a bonus of added sparkle.

Sefton council has commissioned ornate iron lighting columns for aloft the 3,600-foot structure to create the effect of a tunnel of light along the pier – reflecting the Victorian heritage of the original structure that stood in its place in 1860.

Tourism bosses are said to be ‘delighted’ with the success of the new-look pier, which has attracted almost 350,000 visitors since it re-opened in May last year - Over three times the usual annual figure of around 100,000 people using the original pier prior to its closure in 1996.

The new modern pavilion features an exhibition on the history of the pier and the
local natural habitat plus a coffee shop and seating area. New decorative lighting will add to Southport’s array of attractive lighting features along Lord Street and the ‘Arcs of Light’ in Scarsbrick Avenue.

European funding and the National lottery have financed most of restoration work to date. A further two million is required to fund the fitting out of the visitor centre at the end of the pier. Ironically, the cost of the original pier was a mere £8,700 when the pier first opened in Victorian times.

 

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