A £1million lagoon is planned in a huge revamp of Southend seafront, the Echo can reveal.

The Government will todayannounce a huge cash investment to fund an artificial lagoon almost the size of a football pitch at Three Shells Beach for young bathers and water sports enthusiasts to use safely when the tide is out.

The ambitious plans will create eight jobs directly, but a projected increase in Southend’s six million annual visitors is expected to lead to 126 other new roles.

Derek Jarvis, Southend councillor responsible for culture and tourism, said: “I’m certain the funding will allow us to put some real energy and drive behind our ambitious plans for making Southend one of English tourism’s must see places to visit."

For a two-page special report, see today's Southend Echo.