SOUTHEND Council is preparing to splash out more than £1 million on a new pier cafe.

The venue is set to be built on the pier head and will include a roof top terrace offering spectacular sea views.

Bosses are now looking for a contractor to lead the £1.2 million project amid hopes building work can begin in the autumn.

The cafe will provide indoor seating, a servery, scullery, storage, covered canopy seating area on the ground floor, complete with a stepped terraced seating and an internal lift leading to an open roof terrace at the upper level.

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for tourism, said: “We are continuing our search for a suitable contractor to realise our vision for the new pier head cafe which will feature a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the estuary and a kiosk-style window where visitors can treat themselves to an ice cream, light refreshments, and other hot and cold snacks.

Read more >> What we know about new cafe planned for Southend Pier

“A tender opportunity was reissued with a deadline of end of May, and we hope to start work this autumn.

“It will certainly be worth the wait, and before then visitors can look forward to riding the new electric train and visiting our revamped pier pavilion.”

The proposed cafe will be one of a number of new additions to Southend’s iconic pier.

Council bosses have already spent £336,000 on improvements, which include the new all-electric pier trains.

It comes amid the successful launch of the new Pier Burger Hut last week, which is helping to add more variety for tourists visiting Southend.

Ms Mulroney hopes the new cafe will help to make the pier even more appealing to visitors.

She added: “We want something innovative and exciting to enhance the pier.

“There are wonderful outlets up there that are exciting and bringing people in. There’s room for all types of food outlets that would add to the pier offer.

“A canopied area will be a great attraction. When we get really good weather, people love to be outside but with a bit of protection .

“We welcome tenders to see what they come forward and we will make sure it’s an enhancement to the pier offer.”