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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 11:06 GMT
Seaside town's main pier is sold
The Grand Pier
The pier has only changed hands three times in its 100-year history
The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare is set for a massive revamp after it was sold in a multi-million pound deal.

Brother and sister Michelle and Kerry Michael snapped up the attraction, which has only changed hands three times since it opened in 1904.

The quarter-of-a-mile-long pier, which attracts thousands of visitors a year, had been owned by the Brenner family for three generations.

The owners plan to open restaurants and offer Victorian-style shows.

Ms Michael, who bought the pier with her brother Kerry after being approached by the Brenners, said: "We want to introduce new attractions.

"It has only changed hands three times in its 104 year history and we feel privileged to have become its custodians for the next generation."

The Weston-based pair used to own a stake in the Sanders GardenWorld, which they have now sold.

While we still want the visitors to come, we also want it to be a place for locals to visit regularly
Michelle Michael

They also run an online garden centre, The Preview Bar and Grill and The Carvery Company restaurants in Bristol, and Regency Insurance Brokers in Weston.

It costs 500,000 a year for the general upkeep of the pier.

The idea for a Grand Pier was first discussed in the late 1800s.

Work eventually started to build a one-and-a-half mile long structure in November 1903.

The pier once had a Theatre Pavilion, which hosted concerts, ballet performances, opera and even boxing matches.

Nowadays, the pier offers fast-food outlets and an amusement arcade. A train also runs the length of the structure.

The pier was destroyed by fire in 1930 and rebuilt, before re-opening in 1933.

Ms Michael added that they wanted more locals to enjoy the facility.

Michelle and Kerry Michael
Michelle and Kerry Michael plan to revamp the attraction

She explained: "Ninety six per cent of all visitors to Weston go on the pier and enjoy their visit, but very few locals use the facility - we want to change all that.

"While we still want the visitors to come, we also want it to be a place for locals to visit regularly.

"We have plans to provide entertainment for all on this most famous landmark to include, new restaurants, live music, weddings, children's parties, museum, side shows, attractions, market stalls and most of all, great family entertainment.

"We want local people to let us have their suggestions for what they think the Grand Pier could be a venue for too."

SEE ALSO
Fireworks mark pier's centenary
28 Aug 04 |  Somerset

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