Additional investment into Southend-on-Sea’s seafront over the next five years is being proposed as part of the council’s draft capital investment programme up to March 2027.
Southend Pier, coastal defences, and East Beach car park could all benefit from the council’s capital programme as part of the budget discussions due to take place at cabinet on Thursday 13 January.
The cabinet paper includes the following proposed projects:
Subject to a viable business case, an additional £2.5m investment is planned for the pier to continue planned refurbishment works that ensure the structural integrity of the iconic Southend landmark that attracts millions of visitors every year. This investment is in addition to the £10.6m budget already in the approved capital programme up to 2027 for Southend Pier.
A proposed additional £2.5m to progress the borough’s sea defences as part of the coastal defence refurbishment programme over the next five years.
Investment of £355k is being proposed for improvements to East Beach Car Park to widen the entrance and exit, install a height barrier and vehicle flow plates to control traffic. Increased lighting and improved access for pedestrians and cyclists will also be included. The car park would be future proofed to ensure electric vehicle charging can be accommodated.
The council has also committed to developing a business case to deliver new seafront illuminations to support the local economy, tourism strategy and long-term recovery of the hospitality sector. The project would help extend the season by encouraging more visitors to see part of the seafront lit up stretching from the Cliff Lift and gardens through 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 we do not stand still. Our economic recovery depends on our forward thinking and innovative solutions.
“Our seafront improvement plans will ensure Southend continues to be a top-drawer tourist destination that provides safe and modern facilities for residents and visitors. I am determined that Southend will be a seaside City to be proud of.
“Recent investments in the pier have seen the refurbishment of the Royal Pavilion into a sit-down restaurant and bar and the installation of the brand new, eco-friendly electric pier trains. This additional investment will ensure the structural integrity of the pier and our coastal defences and reduce the requirement for urgent or reactive condition works."
The draft budget will be considered by the council’s cabinet on Thursday 13th January, the council’s three scrutiny committees at the start of February, with the final budget to be discussed and approved at Full Council on Thursday 24th February.