CALLS have been made for the tomb of the ancient Prittlewell Prince to be permanently housed in Southend’s iconic Kursaal...which has been shut for six months.

The bowling alley and leisure area of the Kursaal shut suddenly in April. It was the third closure of the site this year.

As a result, Southend Council’s Conservative Group wants the council to “make the Kursaal the permanent home for the Prittlewell Prince”.

The Prittlewell Prince refers to the remains unearthed near to Aldi, which contained dozens of rare artefacts in 2003.

Tooth enamel fragments were the only human remains, but experts say their “best guess” is that they belonged to a 6th century Anglo-Saxon prince.

The artefacts were set to be the main attraction at a new £55million museum to be built on Southend seafront cliffs.

But the scheme was suddenly dropped last year over rising costs.

Tory leader Tony Cox, who proposed the motion to Thursday’s full council meeting, said: “We have the issue with the Kursaal, we have lost the bowling alley and it looks like it won’t be returning. We need to do all we can to get the building back into operation; it is iconic and cannot stay that way. It was discussed under a previous administration about building a new museum, but that idea is dead in the water and won’t be coming back, so we need alternatives.

“You hope this can get cross-party support, its an iconic building and would be a perfect seafront location for one of our main attractions.”

In June, the coalition leading Southend Council announced it would look into the possibility of acquiring the leasehold of the building for a permanent home for the artefacts found in the Anglo-Saxon burial ground in Priory Crescent in 2003.

Ron Woodley, deputy leader under the alliance, said: “We are looking into the possibility, we have looked into it as a cabinet and as a council, and I fully support the idea.

“The problem is the lease, I believe there was a 250-year lease, that’s not easy to get out of to buy out.”

“There may be a bit of a get out if the building is not being maintained at all, but we have lots to look into.

“But its nice of Tony Cox and the conservative party to support something we are already working towards.”