July 21, 2024

Southend Pier to get £6.7m investment to stop it ‘falling in sea’

Image caption,

Southend-on-Sea’s famously long pier was crowned as the country’s greatest in 2023

  • Author, Lewis Adams
  • Role, BBC News, Essex

Almost £7m will be spent on Southend Pier to stop it “falling into the sea” amid plans to get a private firm to run it.

Southend-on-Sea City Council said a planned £6.7m investment would go ahead this year.

It would ensure the stability of the structure until 2029, the authority claimed.

Work on the Prince George extension and refurbishment of the timber outer pier head would be included in the project.

The authority is also set to invest £2.5million in the iconic pier over the next five years despite financial pressures.

The council’s Conservative leader, Tony Cox, said he wanted to ensure the landmark was at the forefront of peoples’ minds.

“There are two things this city is known for – the pier and the football club,” he said.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The wooden pier first opened in 1830 and was repeatedly extended over time

Interested parties are said to have come forward and are in “detailed conversations” with the council ahead of the launch of a procurement process.

“The financial challenge for local councils across the country is well known, but it is important that we still have a capital investment programme that is realistic, deliverable and focused on key projects,” Mr Cox added.

The main capital programme set for approval for 2024/25 to 2028/29 will see £117million invested in projects across the city over the next five years, including £800,000 for further investment at Airport Business Park Southend, £13million for pavement and roads resurfacing, plus £2.3million for repairing potholes.

A total of £19.1m to 2026/27 has also been earmarked to maintain housing stock and for structural works at the Balmoral Estate.

In addition £6.4million is earmarked to provide grants to disabled people make adaptions to their homes to make them easier to use.

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