THE HISTORIC Cliff Lift on Southend seafront will be up and running today after a five-year absence.

The iconic structure, which is almost 100 years old, will be officially opened by the mayor in a ceremony at 11am.

In March, it was lowered back into place by crane after a £650,000 refurbishment but was not yet ready to work. It had been out of service for five years.

The lift will carry passengers between Clifton Terrace and Western Esplanade.

During the summer season it will operate daily between 10am and 5.45pm and will cost 50p per trip.

More than £2million of lottery cash has been spent revamping the stations at the top and bottom of the cliff.

In total, nearly £3million has been spent on giving the whole structure a makeover.

It has been restored as closely as possible to its original 1912 format, while also complying with 21st Century safety stands. The lift has new rail lines, new brakes, a new motor and new controls. During these works, the lift carriage was removed and totally refurbished, before being lifted back into position on the tracks.