Chelmsford, United Kingdom (PressExposure) May 11, 2012 -- Bosses at Southend Council are planning to demolish the landmark Queensway House building, on Essex Street, as part of a £300m revamp of Southend town centre. The building is to be bulldozed to make way for a new public square. £2m has also been set aside to buy back Clarence Road and Alexandra Street car parks. Both sites could be used for new shops, home and restaurants, as well as parking. These plans are the first steps in the council's multi-million pound masterplan for the town centre. A spokesperson for local sales and marketing company Absolute Client Services said, "It will be great to see some much needed regeneration in the town centre. This kind of investment is just what the town needed."
"These are grand plans," said John Lamb, the council's Tory deputy leader, "But they're ones we believe can happen." He went on to say, "There is no point in proposing something you do not believe can happen. It's important for the future of Southend we start to think about how we can sustain the town in the future and what we would like it to look like. What we are always looking to do is prepare for the future. We want to be in a position where we can move forward with these developments. We need to prepare for the future, so we are in a position to capitalise, if and when funding becomes available. That is all part of our vision for the future."
Council chiefs detailed this plan in June last year, dubbed the central area action plan. The blueprint conjured up images of new offices, shops, homes and public buildings across the town centre, bankrolled by private sector cash. The plan was dismissed by critics, but the council leader Nigel Holdcroft argued that it was the ideal formula for both transforming Southend and ensuring the council could continue to pay its bills.
"Certainly the plan is ambitious," said our source at Absolute Client Services, "But there's nothing wrong with having ambition. This regeneration will have very positive effects on the economy." Our source at Absolute Client Services was positive about the outlook for the regeneration plan, adding, "I'm really looking forward to seeing how Southend is transformed and refreshed by these plans."
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