Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Weston pier to open without tower

Graphic of Weston's new pavilion
The Grand Pier burnt down in July 2008

The opening of the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare in the summer will have to go ahead without its showpiece observation tower.

The 300ft (91m) tower, due to be built end of the pier, will not be ready after problems with Italian suppliers.

"At a recent trade show we found out that they had run out of time to build it even though they hadn't told us," said pier co-owner Michelle Michaels.

The owners are now hoping to get the tower in place for 2011.

The pier was destroyed by a fire in July 2008, which is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Miss Michaels added: "In November we found a second supplier but because it was so late in the day it was difficult for them to comply with our timescales.

"Our intention is to open before peak season, so May/June time if we're lucky."

A company in Stroud has won a contract to supply some of the funfair rides on the new pier.

The contract means Gravitron has doubled its workforce and moved into new premises to accommodate the work.

It is supplying eight new rides including a new kart track, a ghost train, dodgems and a fun house.

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