Experts sought for £5m pier contract

Experts are set to be drafted in to carry out up to £5 million worth of repair works to the Southend’s landmark pier.

A specialist contractor is needed to carry out structural repairs and install anti-corrosion protection at the Prince George extension, which was opened by the man himself in 1929.

The extension sits at the end of the 1.3-mile pier and is used by fisherman but work is needed to extend its life and repair damaged parts of it.

The two-year programme of work, due to start in July and end in June 2026, will see a concrete cover removed and repaired, and the re-casting of concrete beams.

Tony Cox, Tory leader of the council, said: “The work is important to the pier and it shows the continuous investment in what we see as one of the jewels in Southend’s crown.

“We constantly have to do maintenance on the pier all year, every year. You do one bit then then you have to go to the next bit and the next. It’s an ongoing programme.”

The Prince George Extension is made up of a different design to that of the main stretch of the pier.

The pier consistsis constructed of structural ironwork but the extension is made of usedreinforced concrete columns and beams with an upper and lower deck.

In an invitation to potential contractors, the council said: “The works will consist of breaking out all loose and damaged concrete to expose corroded reinforcement, the replacement of the corroded reinforcement and the repair of the concrete.

“The concrete repair will incorporate the installation of a titanium mesh, which will be connected to a small electric current to provide protection against future corrosion. The whole of the existing structure will then be encapsulated in a sprayed concrete finish, maintaining the pier’s existing appearance.”

Last year, the council announced it was to undertake work to the extension, which was said to be in a “poor state of repair” and in urgent need of improvement.

The extension to the pier made the landmark officially “the world’s longest pleasure pier”.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter