NEW artwork celebrating the “heritage of Southend” could be introduced at the former Lego-style university accommodation in Southend city centre.

Plans have officially been submitted to Southend Council to add new art to the clocks at the University Square building, in Queens Road.

The University of Essex has applied to replace the digital clocks with “clock box artwork” features comprising of black and silver aluminium cladding and to incorporate three drawings.

The former colourful bright cladding was removed in 2022 after it was deemed to be dangerous.

Matt Dent, Labour councillor responsible for the Kursaal ward, said: “I really like these designs.

“The former ‘Lego’ design was quite controversial and there were a lot of people who weren’t at all fans.

“This on the other hand has more of a classic look, and I really like that it celebrates the heritage of Southend.”

The University has previously sought to replace the digital clocks with coloured panels.

The council, however, was of the view that the changes were too great to be dealt with as a non-material amendment and the design should better reflect the prominence of the building.

The plans say: “The new display will take the form of two panels of aluminium cladding which has been chosen because it is non-flammable and will not fade one black and one silver, which are sandwiched together to give a small element of relief.

“There is no illumination, as that is ruled out because of changes to the building regulations.

“The images depict scenes relevant to the city and the university.”

Southend’s Lego building was once named the ugliest university campus in the country.

The cladding was deemed to be dangerous following a review in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster which claimed 72 lives.

Work to remove and replace the cladding was completed in December 2023.