A major planning application for a £50million mixed-use leisure scheme on the Seaway Car Park in Central Southend has been submitted to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for determination.
The application, which was due to be submitted by December 2018, includes plans for a 6-storey 80 bedroom Travelodge hotel, a 20-lane Hollywood Bowl, an 11-screen Empire Cinema with IMAX, indoor golf, climbing wall, gym, 10 restaurants/cafes, a new public realm, and a 555 space multi-storey car park.
It is hoped the scheme will create around 500 new jobs, strengthening the town’s tourism economy in the process and bringing new brands to the area.
Laurence Keen, Chief Financial Officer of the Hollywood Bowl Group said “We are delighted to be bringing the Hollywood Bowl brand to Southend-on-Sea, and to be part of the exciting development of the Seaway Leisure Scheme”.
The CEO of Empire Cinemas, Justin Ribbons is also pleased to see the scheme progressing. He said “We are thrilled to be announcing our continued investment in IMAX technology as part of our Southend cinema. The inclusion of IMAX further reinforces our commitment to providing the most cutting edge, immersive viewing experience for cinema-goers”.
Giovanni Dolci, Managing Director of the IMAX Corporation Europe and Africa added further praise to the development. He said “We believe that the IMAX screen at Empire Cinemas will serve as a flagship entertainment attraction that will usher in a new era of immersive movie-going for film fans in Southend”.
A number of restaurants have been pre-let, including two units for Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquitos, with the remaining units currently under offer. The remaining tenants are yet to be announced.
It is hoped the project could be completed by 2021 and bring £1million of revenue for the Council each year once fully operational. The site was originally sold by Southend Borough Council to developer Turnstone Estates in 2014 for just £1 with a 4 year deadline agreed for submitting redevelopment plans for the site. However, the deadline expired in December 2018 and a 14-month extension was agreed subsequently.
18 January 2019