Southend Council has listened to campaigners and put up signs celebrating the town’s pier.

Campaigners queried why there was no sign at the landmark structure telling visitors it is the longest pleasure pier in the world.

However, after a senior councillor happened to chat with tourists, the request from campaigners was taken on board.

Two signs have now been installed announcing the pier’s claim to fame and the council hopes they will boost visitor numbers.

Lib Dem Graham Longley, councillor responsible for tourism, said: “Our precious pier is an incredible asset to the town andamajor visitor attraction, so we wanted to make sure everyone knew the details of just how amazing and unique it is.

“We are constantly reviewing ways to keep our 1.34mile-long pier in the limelight.

“I was prompted to propose adding these signs after a chance conversation with some American visitors.

“They attended one of the opera performances in the Royal Pavilion on the pier, and when I spoke with them afterwards, they were surprised to find nothing eye-catching on the pier itself telling people they were setting foot on the world’s longest pleasure pier.

“This seemed to be a vital omission, so we have now rectified the matter with these signs at the pier entrance.”

Campaigners have long argued the council should be shouting about the pier’s unique selling point – its length.

As revealed in the Echo last month, “two or three” investors are talking to the authority after showing an interest in the iconic structure.

Mark Sharp, of campaign group Saxon King in Priory Park, said: “Anything that will encourage people to go on to the pier is an aid to safeguarding its future.

“If the council is putting up signs shouting about the pier, it’s good news.

“The previous administration had not sought investment for about six to seven years, and the new council is moving in the right direction, but they need a marketing campaign to encourage investment.”

Pier campaigner Trevor Bell added: “It’s great news it has put up signs.

“The council should have put one on the pier bridge, so when people drive under it, it could have said ‘you are now driving under the longest pleasure pier in the world’.”

In 2014, around 320,000 people visited the pier giving it the best visitor numbers since 2005.

A number of events over the coming weeks will aim to keep up that momentum.

Housed in the pavilion at Pier Head is an art exhibition of works by Rick Buckley, while March 21 and 22 sees the Spring Festival of Folk and Ale taking place.

Other activities lined up for 2015 include music performances, Shakespeare plays, and a craft fair.