A multimillion pound upgrade of Southend’s iconic pier is underway.

The plans will see a new restaurant installed in the Royal Pavilion, as well as new, environmentally trains added.

Work is already underway to add a new kitchen to the Royal Pavilion, along with a bar and serving area.

Bosses hope the new additions will help to make sit down meals more “readily available”.

It is hoped work on the new restaurant will be completed by the end of June.

A brand-new viewing platform, toilet block and additional wind breaks are also being installed ahead of the summer.

Meanwhile the diesel pier train, which has been in operation since 1986, is set to be replaced.

Severn Lamb is behind the installation of new electric trains which bosses say will offer a much-improved ride for passengers.

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The high-tech trains will be fitted with additional seating, USB charging points, a hearing loop system and a braille driver alert system.

It was hoped the eco-friendly trains would be launched this spring but the pandemic has seen the unveiling date moved back to summer.

Scott Dolling, Southend Council’s director for culture and tourism, said: “These works follow years of continued and ongoing investment into the structure of the pier, work starting on the £3.25m project to replace the Pier trains, and also the continuation of impressive pier visitor numbers when we’ve been able to welcome visitors.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging year for the hospitality sector, and we hope by improving the offering at the pier head, alongside the fantastic new trains, we will have a bumper summer of visitors to our town to help give the economy a real boost.”