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Plans unveiled for new heritage centre in Shoebury
LONG-AWAITED plans for a heritage centre in Shoebury have been unveiled.
Developer Country and Metropolitan Homes hopes to build the centre within the heart of the garrison estate development.
The single-storey building would feature exhibition and display rooms to showcase artefacts, memorabilia and photos documenting the history of the former military garrison.
Proposals for the scheme include a cafe, two lecture rooms, workshops and storage areas for the items. The work would involve restoring the former carriage and wagon shed in Warrior Square Road.
A statement outlining the plans said: “The redevelopment of the building allows for its use to change to that of a heritage centre, telling the story of the former barracks site and highlighting the importance of the surrounding natural environment.”
If plans are approved by Southend Council’s development control committee, work is expected to start on the centre in Spring 2013.
Brian Sandford, secretary of the Shoebury Society, said the group planned to set up a heritage trail, charting the historical buildings in the town once the heritage centre is built.
He said: “We are very pleased the plans are taking shape. There is a tremendous amount of interest about what there was in Shoebury and the development of the area.
“The sooner we can get something there the better.”
Mike Assenheim, Independent councillor for Shoebury, has been campaigning for a heritage centre to document the town’s history for three years.
He said: “I am so glad, at long last, it is finally happening.
“It was always agreed Country and Metropolitan Homes would provide a heritage centre.
“It has been something which has been missing from the community and it will be somewhere for people to learn more about the town.
“Residents are fed-up with seeing the dilapidated building, so I think they will be glad it is finally happening.”