THE addition of a fearsome new drop tower ride standing a whopping 38metres tall at Adventure Island "will be a massive draw" for people to come to Southend, traders and residents have insisted.

Adventure Island owners, the Stockvale Group, have confirmed the new ride will open at the seafront adventure park next year, with the attraction set to rival rides at Thorpe Park and Drayton Manor.

The new drop tower is set to stand next to the City Wheel, which opened in December last year at Adventure Island.

It will be taller than the 35metre tall Detonator at Thorpe Park and the 25.6metre Croc Drop at Chessington World of Adventures.

Pebble One Owner, Paul Thompson is happy to see Stockvale’s continued investment in Adventure Island, praising it as “a massive draw for people to get into Southend.”

“It’s fantastic, the continued investment by Adventure Island, it’s good news for tourism and everyone gains from that the council, hotels, and restaurants," he said.

“My kids have all got annual passes and as soon as they see the new ride, they will be on it, like when the wheel went up, I’m pretty sure all kids will want to get in there and word will spread.”

Mr Thompson added that he thinks this is a “really good thing for the area.”

Southend mum of seven, Carolyne Goodall, said: “What we really want is something a bit different, it was getting a bit stagnant.”

Mrs Goodall added that her children are excited to get on the ride and had enjoyed the prior big-wheel attraction.

“It’s bringing people to Southend, it’s a good thing for that,” Mrs Goodall said.

Tory Councillor, Daniel Nelson, said: “I think it’s excellent news for local businesses, they are investing and it’s a clear vote of confidence given the economic situation we find ourselves in and I think its going to be a great attraction.”

Mr Nelson added that “there can be no doubt that investment is a good thing,” with it hoped such a large attraction will help tourism and the seafront by extension.

The new drop tower, beating out Thorpe Park and Chessington’s tower, does not beat Blackpool’s 55metre Ice Blast but does dwarf the 21metre Sky Drop at Adventure Island, with the new drop tower also set to function as a viewing platform.