SQUATTERS have taken over the Kursaal on Southend’s seafront - for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Southend Council confirmed squatters had got back inside the iconic building on Wednesday evening.

Darren “Welsh” Davies, a man well-known for occupying empty buildings in Southend, shared video and pictures of himself inside the building across social media yesterday.

Mr Davies identifies himself as a professional squatter and has occupied other buildings including BHS in Southend High Street.

Speaking with the Echo, Mr Davies, who also claimed the building was not secured, confirmed he had gained entry in the first week of May.

He added that he had taken over the building because it was “being wasted” and should be turned into a museum instead of the multimillion pound project the council had planned for the Cliffs Museum.

A sign has been placed on the doors of explaining they have occupied the Kursaal under squatters’ rights.

A spokesperson for Southend Council said: “Yes, we have been made aware of squatters returning to the building.

“A member of our Community Safety team has visited the site and Essex Police have been notified too.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We were called at around 2.20am today, Thursday, May 30, with reports of suspicious activity at The Kursaal, in Southchurch Avenue, Southend.

"We attended the scene and gave words to advice to a man found inside about squatting.

"We have since been contacted by the landowner with reports that the building has been damaged. Enquiries are ongoing."

The Kursaal bowling alley unexpectedly closed down in February earlier this year, leaving customers shocked and confused - and annoyed and out-of-pocket.

The following month, it was announced that Disco Bowl Limited would be taking over and re-opening the well-known bowling alley.

Again, to the town’s dismay, the Kursaal suddenly closed its doors without warning again last month.

No explanation has been provided for the closure despite repeated requests.

The leaseholders were contacted for comment and have declined.

As well as a bowling alley, the building – which belongs to the council – also housed a soft play area for children, and an arcade.

It is not yet clear what will happen next to the famous Southend landmark.