A NEW bowling alley is set to open next month in the heart of Southend as part of an ambitious plan for the old Talk nightclub. 

The bold new attraction will be on the second floor of the former club in Lucy Road with amusement arcades fronting Southend seafront remaining on the ground floor.

The move comes more than two years after the bowling alley closed at Southend’s Kursaal pleasure palace. The old Talk nightclub is just a stone’s throw away from the proposed £50million cinema and restaurants plan for the Seaway car park.

Businessman John Remblance’s plans for a new bowling alley, bar and restaurant were accepted by Southend Council. 

Kingpins, who will operate the bowling, say they will offer interactive bowling as well as interactive darts and air hockey. There will also be new toilets, and the bowling alley will link into the Electric Avenue arcade in Marine Parade.

A Kingpins spokesman said: “It will almost be like a big entertainment centre, that is what we are aiming for.

“We hope this will bring more people to the seafront, and even through the winter too, it isn’t just for the summer.

“The bowling will be amazing as obviously the Kursaal has been shut for years now.

“There’ll be eight normal bowling lanes, then two smaller lanes, with small balls, it can be for adults, but the smaller lanes are more child friendly.

“The facility is top of the range and we are hoping to open by mid-April.”

However, Southend Council rejected plans for a lift which “had complicated the overall vision” and the restaurant element is on ice as a result.

The spokesman added: “We wanted a lift like the pier one, but on the side of Electric Avenue, where visitors could go to all three levels.

“Sadly it was rejected at this moment in time, which is a shame, but it is something we will still try to pursue if we can as we wanted to ensure our facility is accessible for everyone.

“The restaurant choice has also been held off because of this decision to reject the lift, which again is a shame as we are looking to provide a minimum of 30 jobs in the restaurant alone.”

Philip Miller, owner of Adventure Island, said: “We know John is a very slick operator and will certainly give Hollywood Bowl a run for their money if the Seaway project ever does get off the ground.”