Bristol

Queues expected for Weston-super-Mare pier reopening

Long queues are expected at the reopening of Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier later, which has undergone a £39m transformation.

A spokeswoman for the Somerset landmark - closed since fire destroyed its pavilion in July 2008 - said the pier could only hold 6,700 people.

Co-owner Michelle Michael said: "We're very, very excited; the pier is everything we hoped it would be."

It now boasts the UK's first laser maze and the only double one in the world.

The landmark, which has been redesigned with a modern glass fronted building by Bristol-based architects Angus Meek, is also home to Britain's smallest rollercoaster - the Robocoaster - a large robotic arm ride.

While the biggest ride is a 300m electric floor pick-up go-kart track, which is the only one of its kind in the UK and cost £1m.

The pier was expected to be completed in June, but has been hit by several setbacks.

Saturday's reopening will be attended by Tourism Minister John Penrose, who is also the MP for the town.

Image caption It has cost more than £39m to rebuild the pier

"We are telling people to please expect queues, but there will be entertainers in the street to keep people occupied," the pier's spokeswoman said.

The Grade II-listed pier first opened in 1904.

The first pavilion was destroyed in a fire in 1930 and, two years ago, an electrical fault caused the second fire.

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