Artefacts which were being kept at Southend's museum collection storage have been damaged after a small flood.

The leak, which happened on July 7 and took place next to one of the council’s collections storage facilities, was first identified by a member of staff when they arrived on the site the following morning.

As a result areas of the store, which contain Prittlewell Prince finds and the country’s largest collection of EKCO radios, were flooded with around two inches of water.

Once the discovery had been made, the museum’s curatorial team quickly activated their rehearsed emergency plans to carefully move items from the collections to a place of safety on a priority basis.

But thanks to the swift actions of the team, it has been reassured a number of items from the collection had been saved from more serious damage.

In an email seen by The Echo, Scott Dolling, director of culture and communities, said: "Following the incident, the museums team informed major stakeholders with an interest in the collections, principally Museum of London Archaeology and Historic England, with whom we remain in regular contact.

"Our collections are once again safe and sound and in expert care. The Council’s curatorial team has a wealth of expertise in caring for historical artefacts, gathered from regional museums, national museums and private sectors from Plowden and Smith, National Trust, Houses of Parliament, V&A, Tyne and Wear Archives Museums and the Sainsbury Centre.

"We are learning from this incident and now looking at how we can invest in further improved storage facilities to prevent something like this happening again. We will also be considering how we improve facilities for storing our growing historical collections in future and how we go about raising the funds needed to do this."

For security reasons the council have confirmed they aren't able to disclose the location of the museums specialist stores, as this could potentially make collections a target for thieves and affect their ability to insure them. 

It is not yet clear which items were damaged or the suspected cost of the damage.

Southend Council have been contacted for comment.