A major project to replace Thorney Bay Pavilion will go ahead after Castle Point Borough Council agreed to plug a shortfall in funding caused by the rising cost of living.
At a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on 20 September, Councillors heard how the scheme to build a new pavilion was in jeopardy with project and build costs now exceeding the £1.45m grant awarded by the Government due to the rising cost of materials.
Councillors agreed to increase funding for the scheme by up to £301,000 to meet the revised costs with the money coming from Council reserves and possibly other sources.
Cllr Barry Palmer, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Climate Action, said: “The building of the new pavilion is a cornerstone of the work to improve Canvey seafront which will make a huge difference to residents and to tourism.
“The Pavilion has a long history and is part of the fabric of the seafront and it is important to many residents on Canvey that it is replaced.”
The project to create a new pavilion at Thorney Bay has suffered a number of set-backs since it was first conceived in 2016.
It was given grant funding in early 2019 as part of the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) but in 2022 a revised plan for the building had to be developed to counter rising costs. This was granted planning permission in early 2023.
With inflation and the cost of building materials rising, when tendered for, the cost to build the pavilion came in at over £1.65m.
Cllr Stephen Mountford, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “This is an important project and is the reason we have reserves to ensure it goes ahead.
“As councillors it is our duty to ensure the Council’s money, including its reserves, is spent and invested wisely. While costs for this project have increased, we felt it continued to represent a good investment on behalf of the community.”
With funding now secure, it is hoped the new pavilion can be completed by October 2024.
It will be let out as a café business and parking will be increased.