RESIDENTS are urging the owners of Walton Pier to restore the coastal landmark to its glory days.

The calls come after a photograph was published online showing a section of roof with holes on the side.

The pier owner, businessman Russell Bolesworth bought the site in 2016, promising to turn the ageing jewel into a top tourist destination.

Nearly five years on since Mr Bolesworth made his vow, residents remain dissatisfied by the state of the pier.

Mark Counter, who has lived in Walton his entire life, said: “They have promised for years now that something was going to be done.

“I have seen this pier for more than 55 years and so to see it like it currently is, in this state, is pretty sad to say the least.

“Clacton Pier is great, but Walton Pier is definitely an eyesore now and it could be a danger if it collapses.”


Mr Bolesworth, who says the roof has now been fixed, has blamed the lack of investment on a struggling economy and the company’s credit capabilities being restricted due to Brexit.

He has now reiterated to residents his desire to rejuvenate the landmark, which was closed throughout the first lockdown.

He said: “We took over in 2016. Since then the economy has been the worst we have known it since the 70’s.

"This has damaged the profitability of the pier and our other business The Mirage.

"This has led to our credit capabilities being restricted far more than would have been the case had we voted to stay in the EU in 2016.

"We are waiting for this credit situation to resolve itself so we can lend as usual again. This will happen this year or next if the vaccine deals with the corona pandemic.

"When this happens the local people will get a first class entertainment venue that will be competitive with all businesses of its type in Essex and it will once again be a credit to Walton.

"The pier is not forgotten or neglected. It is at the end of its life for certain materials - some of the cladding at the front and the sheets down the side of the building.

"These are being fixed or replaced in the refurb so it’s difficult to make it all better before we get to the big refurb we are planning."


The historic Tendring attraction was first opened in 1830 and measured just 150ft, but it was washed away by a storm some years later.

The current Walton Pier is the second version and is more than a mile long.

After being put up for sale in 2011 for more than £2million, the pier, which is the third longest pleasure pier in the country, initially failed to attract any buyers, but then in 2016 Mr Bolesworth decided to buy the landmark with the aim to restore it.