SOUTHEND Pier is to feature in a new set of stamps released by the Royal Mail.

The landmark pier, the longest pleasure pier in the world, will provide the backdrop for the new stamps, being launched to celebrate seaside architecture.

The pier is not a stamp, but is a new first day cover for the stamps, which will be launched on Thursday, September 18.

Designed by Kent-based Buckingham Covers, the collectable envelope features an image of the pier at sunset.

Peggy Dowie, chair of the Pier Museum Trust, said: “I think it is a wonderful idea and not before time.

“It’s a great advert for the pier and shows the pier has continued for all these years and deserves it.

“Collectors will be thrilled and I’m sure they will go like hotcakes.

“It’s good for the pier and anything that promotes the pier and brings it to people’s attention is a good thing.”

Sue Stacey, from the Shoeburyness and District Philatelic Society, said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. It hasn’t been featured on something like this as far as I’m aware.

“Some of the first day covers can be highly collectable.

“It’s good news, it is such a fine pier and it will be really nice to see the cover.”

Graham Longley, Southend councillor for tourism, said: “It’s great for Southend and it shows how interested in Southend people are.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them when they come out and I’m sure people will want to buy them for their collections.”

The Grade II listed building was previously the focus of a first day cover by the Pier Museum.

Originally opened in 1830 as a wooden pier, it was upgraded to an iron pier in 1889.

During the Second World War the pier was closed to the public and used as a naval control for the Thames.

Southend landmarks are no stranger to the stamp business.

The Kursaal building was featured in October 2011 as part of a series featuring iconic UK landmarks.