The historical Kursaal amusement park has completed its £1.3m renovation.
The iconic Kursaal indoor amusement park in Southend has officially reopened after the completion of a £1.3m upgrade.
Renamed MFA Fantasy Park by operator MFA Bowl, it includes an amusements area with family coin-op machines, as well as an adult-gaming centre.
The revamp is the first significant upgrade of the Kursaal since it was reopened with a function suite, the Rendezvous Casino and a bowling alley in 1998.
“I couldn’t be happier it is now open. In total, we have created 65 new jobs, and all the challenges we faced have been sorted. It will have great benefits for the community – everyone we hire is local.
Mehdi Afshar, MFA Bowl chief executive, said the completion of the project would breathe new life into the building and boost the resort’s economy.
He told the Southend Echo: “I couldn’t be happier it is now open. In total, we have created 65 new jobs, and all the challenges we faced have been sorted. It will have great benefits for the community – everyone we hire is local.
“We have a 28 lane bowling centre and within that, we have eight private VIP bowling lanes in a self-contained area with a bar.
“We have a new sports bar which is designed to show every sport on offer. Every television screen in the bar will show a different sport so there is something for everyone.”
In addition to the amusements, ten-pin bowling and sports bar, the new centre features a children’s soft play area that can host parties, function suite and a civil-ceremony room.
Afshar said MFA had applied for a court marriage certificate to allow couples to get married in the venue.
He added: “The building has been empty for so many years and we have chosen to come to Southend to put money into it, instead of anywhere else.
“We are nationwide but Southend will be one of our top five venues.”
MFA Bowl has been given permission to serve alcohol until 3am and other refreshments until 5am, but Afshar has promised the new centre would not be open a minute past 2am during the week and 3am at weekends.