DIVERS have inspected the condition of Clacton Pier's underwater structures - some of which are more than 150 years old.

A dive team from Norfolk-based Red7Diving were brought in for the exercise to check the condition of concrete and steel reinforced pilings.

The aim is to prepare a report for the landmark's structural engineering consultants and help identify any areas that may need to be addressed.

Matt Hugo, from Red7Diving, said it was the team’s first visit to Clacton.

“We have been to other piers and work on general inspection and construction projects around the country,” he added.

“The divers have cameras and can relay the footage up to our vehicle where it is recorded as part of the report. They are looking for marine growth, spalling of the piles and checking everything is in good order.”

Pier director Billy Ball said the dive is an important part of the maintenance programme for the attraction.

“With parts of the piling 150-years old it is essential that this work is undertaken annually and that we gather a picture of what’s going on underwater.

“The practical side of the surveying went well and nothing untoward was found. We are now just waiting for the final report to come through.”

The pier’s Discovery Bay soft play has undergone a thorough deep clean and will open again to the public after lockdown on Wednesday.

Angling from the end of the attraction will resume on the same day.

At the weekend The North Pole Experience, including Santa’s grotto, will open and it will also be the first day of the Christmas Cracker offer.

Mr Ball said Covid measures are in place and government regulations are being adhered to.

Full details and booking can be found on the pier’s website at clactonpier.co.uk.