WORK on a new cafe at the end of Southend’s iconic pier could begin in Autumn, with a consultation currently seeking views on the plan.

If plans go ahead, retail huts to the east side of the railway at the pier head would be transformed into a cafe.

Southend Council submitted plans to the Marine Management Organisation at the end of last year, with a consultation now underway.

In the project description, Southend Council has stated that this part of the pier is currently underutilised and uncovered, making it less attractive to visitors.

The council therefore see the cafe as an opportunity to boost the under-utilised inner pier head.

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for tourism, hoped the new buildings would bring even more visitors to the pier.

However, she could not say who the café would be run by for the moment.

She said: “Our whole seafront is a big tourist attraction so we want to be able to provide for that facility. Over the recent months and last year we had record numbers of people coming to the pier.

“We need to make the facilities there as suitable as possible for them, so they’ll want to come again. We’re looking at all areas of the pier and we want to maximise the usage and facilities on it.

“It’s an exciting new proposal at the end of the pier for rejuvenation, that’s what everybody wants to do. Everything is looking up.”

A cover to provide shelter from the weather will be created with the inclusion of an adjacent toilet.

The consultation follows record breaking figures showing the pier is as popular with residents and tourists as ever.

Ms Mulroney added: “We’re always looking at different areas of the pier and this is the one that’s come up at the moment. There’s already been some ongoing construction work.”

The cost of the new cafe has not been confirmed but Ms Mulroney said work would be paid for using the £1.2million in the council’s capital programme. Following the consultation, it is hoped work will behind in autumn. To give your comments visit the Marine Maritime Organisation’s public register homepage and quote reference MLA/2021/00540 by April 7.