Fears have been raised over the future of Canvey’s seafront after it emerged a host of major businesses are set to be placed on the market.

Yesterday, the Echo revealed that Derek and Suzanne Gray, who own many of the major players on the seafront under the brand Monico Leisure, will be stepping away from Canvey and placing all their businesses on the market.

The news is a major blow for seafront trade on the island, which has received a welcome boost in recent summers with popularity on the up.

But now residents fear this could mark the end of these businesses on the seafront if they are not snapped up.

Paul Phillips, 42, who lives on Canvey, said: “This is such a huge shame, and quite upsetting.

“My kids love Fantasy Island, and we regularly visit a lot of these places.

“This is a lot of the seafront business, and it could go at once.

“What does that mean for the future of Canvey’s seafront? It does not look good.”

Jimmy Mac’s All American Diner, in Eastern Esplanade, is the first to go, being placed on Rightmove for £230,000.

And it is a credit to how much work has been done on the seafront, with some residents stating they prefer Canvey over Southend these days.

Danielle Garner, 33, of Shoebury, said: “It is such a shame because we come to Canvey to both Leisure and Fantasy Island.

“I would rather come there than Southend seafront and I hope somebody buys these places still and keeps them going.”

Chris Gardner, 61, of Thames Road, Canvey, said: “Such a shame, the Gray family have made such a big effort, I hope these venues don’t stand empty.”

Sarah Eastty, 36, of Torquay Road, Chelmsford, said: “It is always busy in the summer and we travel from Chelmsford to stay with my parents to use the facilities.

“My daughter prefers the rides over Southend and loves Cheeky Monkeys. My eldest loves the milkshakes of Sugar Rays. I fear this will finish the seafront.”