A MUSEUM displaying the Saxon King should be built inside The Royals Shopping Centre, says a council boss, as it’s revealed the site is up for sale.

The plan for the site has been mooted after Southend Council recently bought the Victoria Shopping Centre.

Debenhams and H&M stores are also set to leave The Royals, freeing up space.

Now, Ron Woodley, Independent deputy leader of Southend Council, is calling for the plan, saying they were looking to have a museum on the seafront but the centre site is ideal as it’s close to the front.

He believes the council should be interested in buying the site and adding a museum to the mix of shops, which would house key borough artefacts.

He said: “I think anything is possible and we need to have a look at it and evaluate it.

“I would prefer for the council to take up more of the town centre. We need to look and see what we can do.

“I think we need to look at different usages and get people more engaged with the centre.

“We could use it to house a museum, that could be an option.”

He said it would depend on the cost and the council’s finances.

The council boss said: “It’s an option to have a mixture of shops and the museum and people would go to both too.

“We could have the Saxon King and London Shipwreck remains there on display.”

The popular shopping destination has a long history in the town, the new indoor shopping centre was opened by Neighbours’ TV star and singer Jason Donavan in March 1988.

The Royals opened with more than 30 stores, and a food court, that housed nine different eateries with seating for 400 people.

It was opened the same day by comedian Lenny Henry.

Derek Jarvis, Tory shadow cabinet member for business, culture and tourism raised concerns about the sale.

He said: “It’s not good news as we come out of the pandemic and I would hope the centre would be looking forward to higher footfall as lockdown starts to be lifted.

“We need to change the use of the high street and bring it up to date.”

A spokesperson for Southend Council said: “The council is aware that The Royals is on the market.

“The Royals plays a crucial role in our town centre and inevitably whoever acquires the asset will look to build relationships with partners as they develop investment plans.

“The council is always keen to encourage investment in the town.”

The Royals Shopping Centre refused to comment on the fact the centre was up for sale.