This is when the giant Worthing wheel is expected to open

The construction of the giant observation wheel is due to start on Tuesday (May 7). Picture: Adur & Worthing Councils
The construction of the giant observation wheel is due to start on Tuesday (May 7). Picture: Adur & Worthing Councils

The construction of a giant observation wheel in Worthing is due to start next week, the council has said.

From Tuesday (May 7), work will begin to build the biggest observation wheel on the south coast, said a council spokesman.

The wheel is 46 metres high. Picture: Adur & Worthing Councils

The wheel is 46 metres high. Picture: Adur & Worthing Councils

Contractors will be fencing off the area between The Beacon and the Beach Office at the bottom of Montague Place ready to drive foundations into the beach and promenade to support the 46-metre high Worthing Observation Wheel (WOW).

The opening of the ride is scheduled for early July, said the council spokesman.

They added: “The foundation piles to support a temporary base will be worked on through May with assembly and erection of the WOW taking place in June with the opening of the spectacular ride scheduled for early July.”

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, said it was ‘great news’ for the town.

“I really will enjoy watching the WOW rise into the sky to become an iconic landmark on our ever-improving seafront,” he said.

“I’m sure visitors and residents alike will enjoy the WOW for years to come.

“Obviously there will be a little bit of inconvenience as it is constructed for which we apologise but once this observation wheel is up and working the benefits will soon be obvious.”

The area where the WOW will be situated will be fenced off while supporting pillars are driven into the ground, the platform is built and the wheel constructed, the council said.

The promenade will be partially closed for a short period while eight articulated lorries bringing in the parts of the wheel from their construction base in Holland.

The wheel will then be constructed on site, in a process which will take just a few days.

The council has entered into a three-year lease arrangement with deKoning Leisure Ltd for the WOW to operate for a six to nine month period between April and October and then being dismantled for the winter.

Read more here: Giant observation wheel on Worthing seafront given thumbs up

The company, a specialist in leisure attractions, ran the successful Steyne Gardens wheel last year which attracted 10,000 visitors a month.

At a height of 46 metres, the equivalent of nine double decker buses, the WOW will give unparalleled views of the town, Downs and the Channel, the council said. There will be a total of 36 pods with a capacity of 6 people each.

The council said it has incurred minimal costs for setting up the WOW deal with de Koning paying for all construction and operating costs as well as assuming all trading risk.