Lincolnshire’s iconic visitor attraction, Skegness Pier, which this year marks its 140th anniversary, could be restored to its ‘former glory’ after a £3m-plus sale.
The family attraction – which has been a landmark in Skegness since opening in 1881 – is one of only around 50 seaside piers left in the UK.
Now, after being sold by the family who have owned it since 1976, the new owners say they want to bring fresh investment to the Victorian structure.
Skegness was one of the UK’s first seaside resorts, thanks to the arrival of the railway in the 1870s, and when the pier first opened it was the fourth longest in England, featuring a 700-seat saloon/concert hall.
While over the years storms and flooding have left the structure much shorter than in its heyday, the Pier is still one of the east coast’s largest amusement centres, with children’s play, virtual reality experience, bowling and Laser Quest.
Although now largely land-based after two sections of the pier were washed into the sea in 1978, it still boasts a traditional outside pier deck, which runs out over Skegness’s award-winning sandy beach with views across the North Sea.
Up for sale due to family retirement, the Pier has been bought by the Mellors Group – a Nottingham-based theme park, attractions and events business – which already owns the nearby Fantasy Island theme park in Ingoldmells.
And among potential plans for the Pier is an extension, perhaps recreating the type of pier that first attracted visitors more than a century ago.
James Mellors Snr, Managing Director of the Mellors Group said: “It is a very exciting time for our family. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standard of attractions and we have some fantastic investment plans to elevate Skegness Pier and propel it to the next level, immediately.
“Since the purchase of Fantasy Island, Skegness has become a second home to my family, and we look forward to delivering new experiences to residents and visitors of Lincolnshire alike.”
Opened on 4 June 1881, Skegness Pier soon proved to be very popular with visitors, and for 30 years, from 1882, it was even a mini-cruise destination, with the Skegness Steam Boat Co. running trips around the coast and even to Hunstanton in Norfolk.
For more details about the Pier, see www.skegnesspier.co.uk
For general information about visiting Lincolnshire, when restrictions allow, see www.visitlincolnshire.com
Photo: East Lindsey District Council