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Big wheel set to return to Golden Mile

PUBLISHED: 10:16 16 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:17 11 May 2010

Three-year deal: Albert Jones at Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, where the new big wheel will be sited.

Three-year deal: Albert Jones at Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, where the new big wheel will be sited.

A BIG wheel offering panoramic views of sea, rivers and countryside is set to loom large over the Great Yarmouth landscape from the start of next month.

A BIG wheel offering panoramic views of sea, rivers and countryside is set to loom large over the Great Yarmouth landscape from the start of next month.

Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones has struck a deal with Dutch firm Mondial World of Rides to bring the £1.7m attraction to the Norfolk coast for a possible three years.

Lorries carrying parts of the ride began arriving at the Pleasure Beach over the weekend and it is expected to be assembled and operating in time for the week leading up to Easter.

The wheel, which has 28 enclosed cabins, will take passengers to a height of 36m - topped only by the resort's Nelson's Monument (44m) - for unrivalled views of the town, Broads, Scroby Sands windfarm and outer harbour workings.

Mr Jones said: “The German built wheel we had here last year was slightly bigger at 40m but I am confident this one has a lot of advantages. Last season, the wheel was only here from July to October and we missed the captive market of senior citizen holidays in the early and later part of the year.

“This will be running all year round and I am sure it will help not just the Pleasure Beach, but all of the other traders along the seafront too.

“We'll be looking to build on last year's encouraging response when we had people coming for rides from all over East Anglia, and it became the most photographed attraction in the town.”

He stressed that people would have to travel to Stoke on Trent or London to find the nearest alternative wheels.

The ride, costing £4 for adults - £2.50 cheaper than last year - will take eight to 10 minutes.

Mr Jones, who is seen as the front-runner to build Yarmouth's large casino, said the wheel complemented the Pleasure Beach by attracting an older age group. It was disabled friendly with wheelchair access.

He has yet to decide whether to have a VIP cabin again, bookable for special occasions such as engagements.

The world's tallest big wheel is currently the Singapore Flyer at 165m, 30m higher than the London Eye. However, a wheel under construction in Beijing will be 208m when it opens later this year.

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