Happidrome owner criticises Southend Council leisure proposal

Seaway Martin Richardson Southend on Sea
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Happidrome Arcade owner Martin Richardson has hit out at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council over its Seaway car park redevelopment plan, highlighting the recent failure of a similar leisure venture.


Citing the December closure of The Hall food complex in intu Lakeside due to lack of footfall, Richardson called on the local authority to rethink its scheme to redevelop the land as a £50m mixed-use leisure centre.

“Someone at the Council in Southend seems to think it will be good to take away a perfectly good revenue making Seaway car park and build another leisure and food complex,” said Richardson via social media.

“Just wake up and see the hard facts, if it doesn’t work in Lakeside it’s not going to work in Southend.”

The Hall opened at the intu shopping centre in July, part of the venue’s £72m leisure development, however it closed its doors on 22 December after customer numbers dwindled.

“We were very excited about the promise of the expansion plans of intu Lakeside but due to a variety of reasons, including delays to the opening of other key tenants, we never saw the levels of footfall required to sustain a business of our nature,” said a Hall spokesperson, a response Richardson considers risible.

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