THIS is the winning design put forward by Swedish architects to restore the fire-damaged Southend Pier.

The scheme by White Arkitekrter is called Sculpted by Wind and Wave and was chosen from 73 international and local entries.

It includes a cultural centre, which can be used for a variety of activities including exhibitions, conferences and theatre productions.

Also at the pierhead would be a new restaurant and an open air theatre with terraced seating.

Council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “When we prepared the brief for the competition, we took account of the views which had come back to us in the consultation which we had two years ago.

“The public said they wanted culture to be a prominent part of the new pierhead, but they also wanted quiet areas and a maritime theme to be reflected.

“White Arkiteketer has tremendous knowledge and experience of work in a maritime setting and their proposals tied in with the council’s requirements.”

Existing seating areas at the pierhead will be improved and more provided on the site of the former Jolly Fisherman pub.

Chief executive of the council Rob Tinlin said: “Southend Pier is unique, in that with the exception of Hadrian’s Wall it is the longest listed building in the country.

“English Heritage has made it clear to us it wanted a contemporary building which reflected the Victorian origins of the pier rather than having a pastiche of some sort.”

At the cabinet meeting on Tuesday members will be asked to consider whether they want to go ahead with the company’s proposals for the £5 million scheme.

The council is bidding to fund the pierhead with £4million from the Government’s SeaChange scheme to revitalise resorts around the country and £1 million from the other grants.

Mr Holdcroft said: “If the money is not available then we will have to look at alternative funding, including possibly finding the money ourselves.

“We have to grasp the nettle and do something with the pierhead which is for the benefit of both the residents of Southend and its visitors.

The competition, featured £6,000 prize money, and was run by the Landscape Institute on behalf of the council.

White Architekter and Price Myers, the structural engineers working with the architects on the pier project released a joint statement yesterday.

It said: “This project presents an opportunity to work on a site that calls for a unique landmark, this is why the competition caught our eye.

“We look forward to bringing the competition design to the next stage.”