Further investment in Southend-on-Sea seafront over the next five years is proposed under the council’s proposed capital investment program until March 2027.
Southend Pier, Coastal Defenses and East Beach Car Park could all benefit from the council’s capital program as part of the budget discussions due to take place in office on Thursday, January 13.
The cabinet document includes the following proposed projects:
- Subject to a viable business case, an additional investment of £2.5million is planned for the pier to continue planned refurbishment works which ensure the structural integrity of Southend’s iconic landmark which attracts millions of visitors visitors each year. This investment is in addition to the £10.6 million budget already provided for in the approved capital investment program for Southend Pier until 2025.
- A proposal for an additional £2.5million to advance the borough’s sea defenses as part of the Coastal Defense Renewal Program over the next five years.
- An investment of £355,000 is proposed to improve the East Beach car park to widen the entrance and exit, install a height barrier and vehicle traffic plates to control traffic. Increased lighting and better access for pedestrians and cyclists will also be included. The car park would be future-proof to ensure the charging of electric vehicles.
The council is also committed to developing a business case for providing new waterfront illuminations to support the local economy, tourism strategy and the long-term recovery of the hospitality sector. The project would help extend the season by encouraging more visitors to see part of the illuminated waterfront that stretches from the Cliff Lift and gardens to the Kursaal.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, Cabinet Member for Environment, Culture, Tourism and Planning, said: ‘As we make this transition from a borough to a city, it is essential that we do not stand still. Our economic recovery depends on our forward-thinking and innovative solutions.
“Our seafront improvement plans will ensure that Southend continues to be a leading tourist destination which offers safe and modern facilities to residents and visitors. I am determined that Southend will be a seaside town of which I can be proud.
“Recent investments in the pier have seen the refurbishment of the Royal Pavilion into a restaurant and sit-down bar and the installation of the brand new environmentally friendly electric platform trains. This additional investment will ensure the structural integrity of the jetty and our coastal defenses and reduce the need for urgent or reactive works. »
The draft budget will be reviewed by the council cabinet on Thursday 13 January, the council’s three review panels in early February, with the final budget to be discussed and approved in full council on Thursday 24 February.