THE only remaining pleasure pier on the North-East coast has been guaranteed a bright future as part of a £750,000 facelift.

Work completed by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council will illuminate Saltburn's Victorian pier from dusk until midnight as part of a Lighting our Culture project.

The lighting extends to the cliff lift, the pier amusements and the nearby chalets.

Six months' work on Saltburn's top promenade, managed by Groundwork South Tees, will be under way in the next few weeks.

Improvements will include the installation of a ramp for wheelchair and pushchair access, fossil gardens with art features, seating, railings and surfacing throughout.

The lights will be switched on by Friends of Saltburn Pier founders Norman Bainbridge and Tony Lynn on October 6, the day after Redcar's Cenotaph is illuminated.

The chairman of the National Pier Society, Anthony Wills, is one of the guests invited to see the lights switched on and hear about the work planned for the top promenade as part of the improvements.

Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to encourage more tourism into the area and extend the tourism day."

He hopes the improvements will encourage more spending and create jobs.

Michael Phillips, of Lighting Design and Consultancy, of Durham, said great care had been taken with the visual effects and the fittings.

He said: "The fundamental concept was to express the structure of the pier without damaging the valuable fabric - the innovation was to show the pier in relief against the lit sea as if in moonlight.

"The design was further developed to provide drama during rough weather conditions, lighting up breakers as they rolled in under the pier."

Claire Gallagher, development manager at Groundwork South Tees, said: "We are delighted to be heading up this high-profile project. The key purpose of Groundwork is to build sustainable communities through joint environmental action.

Ms Gallagher also said the scheme would create opportunities for education and training.