Blackpool North Pier repairs will 'cost millions' after storm

image captionThe sea end of the North Pier in Blackpool was closed for health and safety reasons

Owners of a 150-year-old pier are determined to restore it after a storm caused "millions" of pounds of damage.

The Sedgwick family were "devastated" when the North Pier in Blackpool, was battered by strong winds on Thursday.

Duckboards were broken, windows were smashed and pylons were snapped on the Grade II-listed building.

Up to £1m had been invested in the pier in the last three years, said the family, who hope to reopen it at the start of next season, in February.

Arcade area safe

Gemma Sedgwick said: "To see what this storm has done is absolutely devastating - absolutely devastating. It sinks your heart."

image captionThe North Pier in Blackpool was closed for the season, three weeks before the storm

She added the repairs were "going into maybe millions" as the engineers have discovered pylons have been snapped.

It was first estimated that hundreds of thousands of pounds of damaged had been caused.

The sea-end of the pier has been closed for health and safety reasons but the arcade area is safe, the manager of the North Pier said.

Dominic Herdman said the pier was closed for the season three weeks ago.

Repair work has begun and Mr Herdman "hoped" it would be completed in time for the start of the next season, which begins during February.

The North Pier was purchased in 2011 by local family firm Sedgwick's.

The pier opened on 21 May 1863.

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