Aiming to attract one million people a year to the world’s longest pleasure pier, Southend Council is investing in a new train and a new pavilion after previously approving a £100m development for the town’s seafront.
A new pavilion and train platform have been approved for Southend Pier, with the local council’s deputy leader, Ron Woodley, hoping to fill the former with a museum.
Built at the shore side of the pier, the new platform will enable the structure’s proposed £3.25m eco-friendly trains to transport visitors along the 2,158 metre structure to the RNLI Southend-on-Sea Lifeboat Station. Planning documents note that passengers will “pass by the pier shop and main exit” as they step off the train.
Severn Lamb, a leading supplier of amusement transport, won the contract to supply the new Southend Pier trains in January 2020. In the off-peak season, the trains will be able to run half the number of carriages, saving the council running costs. A new pier entrance costing £480,000 was opened in June 2019 and welcomed record numbers of visitors.
The current plan is to build the new pavilion on the former site of the bowling alley which was destroyed in a fire in 1995. The site of the former museum could then “be turned into a London Dungeon type attraction which could also highlight the history of being on a ship moored off the pier in the past”, according to Woodley.
£100 million Marine Plaza development was also approved by Southend Council in January 2020. This development would include new homes and seafront restaurants, bars and shops. It is going to be built opposite the Kursaal building.
SOUTHEND COUNCIL PROPOSES NEW RING ROAD
New tourist opportunities in Southend, yes; better transport links to the resort, maybe? Short term, however, the answer will be no as access to the coast will take a hit, adding a further complication for a town dependent on its tourism trade.
Southend Council are considering an inner ring road between Temple Farm and Nestuda Way in order to ease congestion caused by the construction of the new Fossetts Farm football stadium. “Initial improvements will need to be made and that could be forming an inner ring road,” deputy council leader and cabinet member for transport Ron Woodley told The Echo.