Vacant shop on Southend seafront could be turned into events venue after plans submitted by Southend Council

By YA Reporter in Planning

A VACANT shop on Southend seafront could be turned into an events venue after plans were submitted by Southend Council.

The council has made the application to change the use and refurbish the empty retail unit, known as Unit 21.

The unit was built as part of the Pier Hill lift project but was never occupied.

The plans include a café space with a patio, gallery space, kitchen and seating.

A variety of shows and exhibitions, curated by different groups and organisations, would also be a feature of the gallery if the plans were approved.

Cllr Ann Holland, executive councillor for culture, tourism and the economy, said: “Since this unit was built, several operators have moved forward with plans to occupy it only to pull out at the eleventh hour.

“We would like to see the unit used as a café and events venue with creative space, so that it can host cultural activities such as music, poetry and arts events. Furthermore, due to its central position connecting the town centre and seafront, the venue is perfectly situated to act as a shop window to the borough’s wider cultural scene.”

A council spokesman confirmed that £200,000 had been budgeted to deliver the building, which it is anticipated would be incorporated in the Focal Point Gallery’s and council’s cultural programme.

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