A £50million leisure complex could open by Autumn 2023, developers have hinted.
Turnstone Estates, who are behind the Seaway leisure complex in Southend, tweeted on Friday that the complex would be completed in two years.
The scheme includes an 11-screen Empire Cinema complex with IMAX, a 20-lane Hollywood Bowl, an 80-room Travelodge hotel and 555 public car parking spaces, with a new public square.
However, Turnstone has come under fire for not starting the project yet, seven years after it was agreed.
Southend Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Ron Woodley, also indicated he was fast running out of patience with the developer and said the scheme could be reviewed if it didn’t begin soon.
The warning seems to have galvanised Turnstone into putting a potential completion date on the complex.
Cllr Woodley welcomed the news. He said: “It’s an ambitious project but this is two years so it should be fine. I’m pleased it’s moving. It’s still got to be a decision of the council which we will have soon.
“The council is determined to push this, not only for residents and jobs, it has a lot of business support.
“We need to move it forward and we’re discussing ways the council can help in making that happen.”
Turnstone was not available to comment but its website said: “The regeneration of Seaway presents an opportunity to revitalise the town centre and build a better Southend.
“With high profile anchor tenants already signed up and many more to be named, Seaway Leisure will bring an additional £15million to the local economy every year and create around 500 jobs adding value for the whole community.
“We have increased the number of proposed parking spaces to 555 which will accommodate visitors to both Seaway Leisure and Southend’s seafront.”