Cruise investment in Victorian pier

Conwy council and specialist pier operator Six Piers have agreed a deal to build a £331,000 landing stage at the end of Llandudno pier in order to attract more tourists to the area.

Funding is also being provided from a special tourism pot as part of the RWE npower renewables' Gwynt y Môr wind farm project off the North Wales coast.

Toby Edmonds, project director of Gwynt y Môr, said: "We are delighted to be able to back tourism which, like the renewables industry, is so important to the economy of North Wales."

The pier's former landing stage fell into disrepair in 2006, but with a new landing stage constructed, boat cruises will be able to sail from the pier once again to attractions such as Puffin Island. Work is set to start on The Dolphin Landing Stage in July and could be completed by October.

Jim Jones, section head for tourism at Conwy County Borough Council said: "A new landing stage was a key priority within our Destination Conwy management plan, as we stood to gain much from opening up Llandudno to the sea. We know there's a lot of interest from cruise businesses wanting to come to Llandudno and visit other attractions throughout Conwy."

The Victorian pier at Llandudno is a grade II-listed building and was originally constructed in 1876. An integral part of the resort, it is considered to be the finest surviving example of Victorian Piers in Great Britain, influencing both the tourist and retail economies in North Wales. It is owned and operated by Six Piers, which also has Blackpool Central and South and Eastbourne Piers in its portfolio.

A landing stage was constructed at the seaward end of the pier in 1891 to provide berthing facilities for a wide range of pleasure vessels, including those offering services to the Isle of Man and trips to Puffin Island and Anglesey. It was replaced with a concrete berthing platform in 1969, but was defunct by 2006 when the fendering frame fell into disrepair and became unsafe.

The new development is funded by Gwynt y Môr Tourism Fund, Conwy County Borough Council, Llandudno Town Council, and Six Piers.

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