A NEW bar offering axe-throwing, beer pong and pool is set to move into a key slot in a Southend shopping centre.

Boom Battle Bar, an adventure bar chain, has applied for a premises licence to operate in the Victoria Shopping Centre.

The venue is set to be based across two floors, filling a unit formerly occupied by Tangs Buffet.

It is a major vote of confidence for Southend, with the franchise so far opening bars in major cities and sites across the UK, such as London, Manchester and Liverpool.

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Boom Battle bar offers alternative entertainment to drinking establishments, with punters able to try their hand at axe-throwing, shuffle-boarding, beer pong, pool and arcade games.

Paul Collins, Southend councillor responsible for asset management and inward investment, has expressed his delight at the plans, which will go some way to ensuring most of the units at the Victoria Shopping Centre are occupied by businesses.

“It is very good news, and very exciting,” he said.

“I am aware of the one in Norwich they have, and I know it is very, very popular, so I am hoping if it goes through, it will be very popular here.

“I think it is a very good thing for Southend and is positive to hear these big firms want to invest here.

“I would like to see it goes ahead, if all goes well, we should see some positive moves.

“Victoria is going from strength to strength.”

Francesca Sperring, a 34-year-old Southend resident, has also welcomed the plans.

She said: “I am extremely excited to potentially have new activities to do in Southend, especially the axe throwing with my husband as we did that at our wedding.

“It would make for interesting outings to Southend, rather than the same old thing.

“I also think it would pump new life into the city centre, help attract developers to our high-street, as well as create new jobs.

“There is ample parking close by too, so fingers crossed Boom Battle Bar get granted a premises licence.”

The Victoria Shopping Centre has recently become home two IndiRock, an indoor boulder climbing centre, as well as a base non-urgent blood tests.

It forms part of a new drive by Southend Council, which bought the centre for £10m in 2020, to provide leisure facilities and other services inside, along with traditional retailers.

Emily Vermont, founder of IndiRock, admits the move to the centre has paid off for her business.

She said: “We have had such a positive response and have hosted more than 13,000 individual climbs since opening in March.

“We see a bright future for the Victoria Centre, with building work happening all over the building and exciting plans for the future.

“We feel lucky to be part of this journey in its early stages, and with our 15-year lease we can't wait to see what happens around us over the years to come.”