STUNNING images bringing to life the grand masterplan for South Parade Pier have been revealed.
The multi-million-pound vision includes space for funfair rides like a big wheel and zip wire, roof-top family restaurants, water games, seating areas and moorings for visitors.
The owners of the Southsea landmark say the ideas are not a pipedream – and will become a reality within a year as they continue to pour their own cash into its restoration.
So far more than £1m has been spent by Tommy Ware Snr, his son Tommy Jnr and their business team making the pier structure safe.
And the good news in the short term is that a court order barring public access to the decks could be lifted in time for the America’s Cup World Series which runs from July 23 to 26. Bars could be set up for spectators.
The artists’ impressions of the pier were drawn up by Rockit Design and the Ware family.
This is no longer a pipe dream, this is actually happening, and we would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Portsmouth for their overwhelming support.Tommy Ware Snr, co-owner of South Parade Pier
Mr Ware Snr said: ‘These impressions include some of the things we are considering, like a big wheel and a zip wire, but there are many more ideas in the pipeline.
‘We are way ahead of schedule, and very pleased that the public will be able to walk on the pier again within the next few weeks.
‘This is no longer a pipe dream, this is actually happening, and we would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Portsmouth for their overwhelming support.’
Excitement around the region is building as it gears up for the cup series, featuring Sir Ben Ainslie, and other events including the Victorious and Mutiny festivals and Portsmouth Summer Show.
Shops at the front of the pier reopened around six weeks ago after a dangerous structure order was amended to allow the removal of hoardings blocking the entrance.
The notice was imposed last year following fears over public safety.
Project co-ordinator Malcolm Belcher said: ‘The major structural work is nearing completion, we are expecting that to be late June.
‘At that point, an application will be made to the courts for an amendment to the order for use of the external decking areas.’
The arcade remains closed while repair work to the buildings continue.