Council’s £6m investment will stop Southend Pier ‘falling into the sea

More than £6million will be ploughed into Southend Pier to stop it “falling into the sea” as plans continue to get a private company to run it.

A planned £6.7million investment in the landmark pier by Southend City Council will go ahead this year, carrying on maintenance work that will ensure the future stability of the structure up to 2029.

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

The work includes phase two of the Prince George Extension and refurbishment works to the timber outer pier head.

Tony Cox, leader of the council, said: “There are two things this city is known for, the pier and the football club which is why I’m making sure those two things are at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“This amount of money is being spent to stop it falling into the sea as happened in places like Brighton.”

The council is also currently looking at bringing in a private operator to help run the pier. 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 council will also continue a £1.4m for rolling coastal defence works amounting to £500,000 a year.

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.

Cllr Cox added: “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 focussed on key projects.

“Capital challenge sessions held earlier this year have helped this process hugely, and I believe that we now have an ambitious capital programme for the city over the next five years that will see major investment in several important projects, but is also deliverable and realistic, and protects the council financially, with many projects moved to requiring viable business cases and other priority investment projects ready to move into the main programme as required.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter