SOUTHEND’S iconic Cliffs Pavilion looks set to get a major extension with an eye-catching 200-seat restaurant and a new entrance and lobby.

The works, which have not yet been approved, would see a heptagonal-shaped building used for the restaurant to pay homage to the pre-war designs of the theatre on Station Road, Westcliff.

A new staircase will also be built leading from the ground floor foyer straight up to the first floor.

Bosses hope that by significantly opening up the space, a large entrance and lobby area will be created.

It comes as last month, the Echo reported how the Cliffs could be set for a share of £20million for a facelift with new restaurants and bars as part of a new bid for a Government cash.

Ellen McPhillips, theatre director at Southend Theatres, said they are in the early stages of a proposed scheme which would greatly enhance and expand the Cliffs Pavilion.

She said: “The scheme would bring much needed investment into a well-loved and well-used theatre.

"If approved, this will see hugely improved circulation spaces, additional bars and a new restaurant. The customer experience prior to seeing the shows would be greatly enhanced.

"The Cliffs Pavilion is an essential factor in a healthy evening economy and therefore it’s essential that appropriate investment is made to secure its long-term future both as a national number one touring venue and a local flagship venue."

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Cliffs Pavillion to receive facelift with new restaurants and bars in £20m bid

The works are hoped to also improve the overall look of the “dated” building by tying its varied architectural styles together.

According to plans, styles include the 1950s styling of the auditorium, fly tower and two- storey restaurant and foyer block along with the more modern interpretation of the 1990s extension.

Theatre-goer Christine Hindle, 63, from North Shoebury, said: “The theatre is so important to the town and to so many people, so anything that could help give them a boost I’m for it.

“If I go very often its for a birthday treat, which would then include a meal, and a lot of people want to have something to eat while they’re there too.”

Charles Mumford, former theatre director at Southend Theatres, added: “I think anything that can help the venue grow is amazing, it’s such a successful venue already which clearly has the demand for investment like this.

“I think customers now want the complete evening out, and a bit of the full package. This could be making the most of it pre-show or post-show and having a bite to eat while they’re there.

“If this will modernise and give a contemporary update to the building it could help secure its future even further for years to come.”