A SENIOR councillor said we need to rethink our High Street strategy to ensure its future success.

Councillor James Courtenay, cabinet member for growth at Southend Council, welcomed the news Primark is moving to a bigger site but he Mr Courtenay said retail may not be the answer for all shop spaces.

It comes after concerns over shop closures and safety issues in Southend High Street.

Mr Courtenay said: “It’s a good move to fill the empty former BHS store and it’s helpful.

“I think we need to think of other uses for high street units including other civic uses and even homes.

“It is something we need to look at and work out the best ways to do it.

“We can look back at the past and how our high street used to be in decades past or we can look forward.

“It’s going to be different but that’s not a bad thing.”

Initial discussions had been held over the possibility of a new museum in High Street but plans to put the Saxon King remains in the Southend Central Museum may have ended this.

Other entertainment or residential plans will be considered for High Street as part of a wider mix of options.