Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 10:37 UK

Fire resort 'still in business'

Brian Hughes from Wolverhampton Express & Star
The Wolverhampton paper boss said "Brummies" would keep visiting

Support is growing to keep the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare firmly on the tourism map after a fire destroyed its main attraction - the Grand Pier.

Businesses fear their trade will be badly hit by the loss of the landmark.

North Somerset district council said it would give "all practical support" to the owners to restore the structure.

And a West Midlands paper published a special edition which it rushed down to the resort to show the strength of support from holiday-making "Brummies".

Brian Hughes from the Wolverhampton Express & Star said the North Somerset pier fire was front page news for its readers, thousands of whom flock to Weston each summer.

"There are a lot of people here from the West Midlands and they're quite shocked by [the fire], but they'll definitely keep on coming down here," he said .

"The weather's fantastic, the sea's here, everybody seems to be enjoying themselves, although they're sad about what's happened."

The fire on the pier - picture by Penny Broomhall
The fire destroyed the Grand Pier's pavilion - picture by Penny Broomhall

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader of North Somerset Council said: "As part of Weston and North Somerset's heritage, we will give all practical support we can to the owners to get this attraction and landmark rebuilt.

"In the meantime we are discussing with the owners the possibilities of reopening the undamaged areas of this major attraction as soon as possible.

"Weston is still very much open for business."

He added that in addition to the usual donkey rides, fun fair and side shows, a sand sculpture festival was on-going in Weston and that a steam fair was being held in the town next month.

Inquiry into cause of pier fire
29 Jul 08 |  Somerset
Owner vows to restore burnt pier
28 Jul 08 |  Somerset
Huge fire destroys historic pier
28 Jul 08 |  Somerset
Your pictures: Weston pier fire
28 Jul 08 |  In Pictures


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