Redcar Beacon 'vertical pier' opens to the public

Redcar vertical pier The tower has shops, a cafe and a viewing platform

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A £1.6m seafront tower initially dubbed the "vertical pier" has opened to the public.

The Redcar Beacon is part of a £75m redevelopment of the town's seafront.

The structure has drawn criticism from some residents who had favoured a horizontal, rather than a vertical, pier.

Redcar and Cleveland council said it would create "scores of jobs both from businesses based in the new landmark and as a result of a boost in tourism".

Cabinet member for economic development, Mark Hannon, said: "We are talking about a vast - and badly needed - boost for the borough.

"For every pound spent on the Beacon we will see a return to the local economy.

Redcar Beacon facts

  • The Beacon is the town's tallest structure at 80ft (24m) high and has seven floors
  • There are 132 steps - and a lift
  • The foundations are 15m deep
  • The cafe and open roof terrace have 360 degree views
  • It has a heat recovery system and solar reflective glazing
  • Admission is free

"Creating just 100 jobs would generate £37m over ten years and that's without construction jobs, purchase of local materials and more visitors spending money here."

In January the council carried out a survey on the 80ft (24m) tower after rumours it was leaning.

Council leader George Dunning said at the time structural engineers had looked at it and he had been reassured it was not leaning.

"It's like the rumours when they said we wanted to charge £5 to go up the pier - they're just rumours," he said.

The tower was named the Redcar Beacon in September after a public vote.

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