SOUTHEND Pier’s £3million cultural centre has won an architectural award.

The Royal Institute of British Architects gave the centre its eastern region award.

Judges said of the centre, which opened last July: “Despite a cash-strapped local council as client and the iconic nature of their brief’s subject, the architects have produced a remarkable sculptural object sitting at the end of the Grade II listed pier.

"While strikingly modern, the new building is essentially a pavilion in the tradition of Victorian pier Victorian pier architecture.”

Designed by architects White Arkitekter and Sprunt, the centre hosts concerts, shows, conferences and weddings.

Derek Jarvis, Southend Tory councillor responsible for culture and tourism, said: “We are thrilled that our fabulous pier cultural centre has won this award. This unique building has quickly proved to be a huge success and to have this special recognition from national experts is a real triumph.

“We would like to congratulate all those who helped create this magnificent piece of architecture which is at the same time eye-catching, welcoming and practical.”

It has also been shortlisted as project of the year in the British Construction Industry Awards, due to be announced in October.

A PRIMARY school in Westcliff was also honoured at the awards for the £2.58million renovation of its Edwardian building.

Westborough Primary School secured three awards – the Royal Institute of British Architects east region award, the sustainability award and client of the year award.

The buildings, which also boost the school’s green credentials by creating their own electricity and reusing water, were designed by Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture.

Deputy headteacher Gerri Bennett said: “This is an old building and it is easy to look at an old building in the education world and say it is out- moded and has to change. But we have adapted it into something that meets the needs of modern day learners.

“It’s an exciting and inspiring building to be in and gets into your psyche as a teacher and a pupil. We’re very proud of it.

“It’s thanks to our architects’ creativity and the courage of the governors and the headteacher Jenny Davis that brought this about.”