The second phase of work at Southend`s seafront lagoon is now well underway, and due for completion in January 2017. The new facility has proved to another popular destination for our many visitors and residents and the second phase of works will improve the facility further.
A new toilet block is currently being built next to the lagoon, along with showers, a disabled access ramp, new decking and landscaping. A new jetty for the Alexandra Yacht Club is also being created.
Meanwhile, a programme of keeping the water fresh is also underway, by unlocking the sluices (sliding gate) over the winter period intermittently.
Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, said: “The lagoon has clearly been a major success, helping to draw more visitors to the seafront and our wonderful town.
“We continually look to evolve and improve our seafront offer, seek external funding and private investment and work with our local business community to do this. This project is a great example of that, but we have not finished just yet.
“Our healthy tourism economy supports around 7,000 jobs but we should never be complacent and that is why we are ensuring that alongside the lagoon we get the complementary facilities right too, and I look forward to these being finished over the winter months. We are also undertaking maintenance to ensure the water is kept fresh.”
The ageing jetty at Three Shells Beach is also being replaced for use by the Alexandra Yacht Club and Lower Thames Rowing Club, adding to the water sports opportunities at the central seafront.
The project has been supported by £1.25m of Government Coastal Communities funding
The lagoon officially opened in July 2016, and visitors can enjoy a swim in the sea even when the tide is out thanks to over 14,000 cubic tonnes of granite rock which mark out the new football pitch sized lagoon. Sheets of welded metal inside the rock walls retain the seawater when the tide comes in, whilst rubberised material at the base of the wall will prevent silt and mud from entering and exiting the lagoon. Valves have been installed into the wall so that the lagoon can be emptied and refilled, ensuring a high quality of regularly-replenished bathing water. The lagoon is 1.1 metres at its deepest.