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Work is nearly complete on the installation of 48 multi-purpose blocks on Southend seafront, providing additional safety, whilst also providing additional seating, colour, and greenery in the tourist hotspot.
As part of the capital budget approved, £393K was allocated for improved security measures in the town centre and seafront areas. This money has been used, alongside external funding, to replace the town centre bollard system and also install 48 ‘Rhino Bloks’ on Marine Parade. Nine of the blocks are fitted with arm rests and five are set have planters installed.
The ‘bloks’ have now all been installed, with the final details now being completed, including installing the planters, creating a safer, greener environment with additional seating in what is an extremely busy location when visitors flock to the town.
The final works are anticipated to be completed in the next few weeks. Local artists Karl Sims and Steve Hart were also commissioned to paint the blocks.
Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said: “I am pleased to see these safety works completed in what is a very busy area of the town. The safety of our residents and visitors is of utmost importance, so it is vital we have measures in place to keep everyone safe. We have also made sure that the blocks are compliant to allow sufficient space in between for wheelchairs and pushchairs, whilst also maintaining the appropriate levels of safety.
“We wanted to create a space that, whilst being safe, also served other purposes, so having these multi-purpose blocks in place means we have created additional seating, enhanced the greenery in the area, alongside improving the town centre bollard system.
“We have also had them painted by two local artists in bright colours and styles, which makes them look great and a positive addition to the seafront. Visitors have also been giving excellent feedback to the artists as they walk past, so it is good to see them being well received.
“The finishing touches are now being made, meaning the project will be complete soon and well ahead of the next visitor season.”