THE COUNCIL has commented on why Bournemouth’s iconic big wheel has been removed from the seafront.

Residents spotted the ferris wheel missing from Bournemouth Pier Approach last weekend, when only the stand remained.

People questioned whether the removal would be permanent after BCP Council confirmed last year that the current operator’s contract would come to end this month.

However, the council has confirmed the observation wheel was dismantled for refurbishment and will return at Easter with new enclosed carriages.

The current operator is also set to stay after winning the competitive tender process, renewing the lease until 2027.

Cllr Millie Earl, deputy leader of BCP Council, said: “The observation wheel near Bournemouth Pier is a very popular seafront attraction.

“It has been dismantled for refurbishment and will have new enclosed carriages when it reopens at Easter.

“It is standard practice for an attraction of this size and complexity to require routine maintenance.

“The current operator will continue until 2027, having recently won a competitive tender process for a new three-year contract.”