New sealife centre to house penguins, seals and crocodiles

An artist's impression of the planned development

An artist's impression of the planned development

First published in Southend by

PENGUINS, seals and crocodiles could soon be coming to Southend seafront, as Sealife Adventure plans to double in size.

The major family attraction, on Eastern Esplanade, wants to build an extension half the size of a football pitch over an informal staff car park and former crazy golf course to the east, to house the new creatures.

Owner the Stockvale Group, which also operates seafront attractions Adventure Island, Sands restaurant and the Three Shells kiosk, hope the exotic additions will boost last year’s 156,000 visitor numbers by a third.

Paul Thompson, chairman of Southend Seafront Traders’ Association, said: “It sounds fantastic.

“Continued investment from a private entrepreneur can only be good.

“It will increase the attraction for visitors to come to Southend.

“The Sealife Adventure is popular. If it brings in penguins and seals it will be fantastic.”

The extension, which would contain five pools, is part of a major revamp of the 21-year-old centre, which also includes masking its pitched roofs with a new rainbow-coloured covering.

There would be a penguin pool, seal pool, crocodile enclosure, large fish tank and another enclosure for creatures as yet unspecified.

Containers for meerkats and leafcutter ants and a research room for Essex University students are also included in the plans.

The Stockvale Group believes the extension could increase the number of jobs from 30 to 50, including some highly-skilled conservation jobs, and attract more visitors out of season.

Emma Cooney, Southend Council’s acting group manager for economy and tourism, said: “From an economic viewpoint, the proposed extension would present a range of opportunities for both the borough and its residents.

“Any positive initiatives aimed at generating additional visitors throughout the year and the associated benefits such activity provides has got to be good for the town.”

Comments (5)

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10:50pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Joe Clark says...

Sounds very good, extra facility, more jobs, bringing a disused piece of land into use and all with private capital.

What's not too like.

Go for it,

Sadly the nimbys will moan, the nimbys will protest, the nimbys are the people holding Southend back.
Sounds very good, extra facility, more jobs, bringing a disused piece of land into use and all with private capital. What's not too like. Go for it, Sadly the nimbys will moan, the nimbys will protest, the nimbys are the people holding Southend back. Joe Clark
  • Score: 3

11:57pm Thu 20 Feb 14

emcee says...

Looking at this artists impression, it looks very much like the Stokvale Group want to use yet more public space for their own profit making enterprises.
What I want to know is how much space all these new animal enclosures will need for the wellbeing of these animals and, in fact, how much space they actually end up with. It sounds as though this place is turning into a full blown zoo and there is only a finite amount of space available without it encroaching on publicly accessible land and pathways. Still, we are talking the about the Stockvale Group here, who will not be happy until they have used up the entire seafront. May as well then rename the town Stockvale-on-Sea.
Looking at this artists impression, it looks very much like the Stokvale Group want to use yet more public space for their own profit making enterprises. What I want to know is how much space all these new animal enclosures will need for the wellbeing of these animals and, in fact, how much space they actually end up with. It sounds as though this place is turning into a full blown zoo and there is only a finite amount of space available without it encroaching on publicly accessible land and pathways. Still, we are talking the about the Stockvale Group here, who will not be happy until they have used up the entire seafront. May as well then rename the town Stockvale-on-Sea. emcee
  • Score: 4

4:10am Fri 21 Feb 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

emcee wrote:
Looking at this artists impression, it looks very much like the Stokvale Group want to use yet more public space for their own profit making enterprises.
What I want to know is how much space all these new animal enclosures will need for the wellbeing of these animals and, in fact, how much space they actually end up with. It sounds as though this place is turning into a full blown zoo and there is only a finite amount of space available without it encroaching on publicly accessible land and pathways. Still, we are talking the about the Stockvale Group here, who will not be happy until they have used up the entire seafront. May as well then rename the town Stockvale-on-Sea.
I'd rather see this sort of venture, than another car park, it will offer an educational and leisure addition to the seafront, though no doubt there are some people here, who'd be happy with a crazy golf green...
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Looking at this artists impression, it looks very much like the Stokvale Group want to use yet more public space for their own profit making enterprises. What I want to know is how much space all these new animal enclosures will need for the wellbeing of these animals and, in fact, how much space they actually end up with. It sounds as though this place is turning into a full blown zoo and there is only a finite amount of space available without it encroaching on publicly accessible land and pathways. Still, we are talking the about the Stockvale Group here, who will not be happy until they have used up the entire seafront. May as well then rename the town Stockvale-on-Sea.[/p][/quote]I'd rather see this sort of venture, than another car park, it will offer an educational and leisure addition to the seafront, though no doubt there are some people here, who'd be happy with a crazy golf green... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -1

9:34am Fri 21 Feb 14

pembury53 says...

emcee wrote:
Looking at this artists impression, it looks very much like the Stokvale Group want to use yet more public space for their own profit making enterprises. What I want to know is how much space all these new animal enclosures will need for the wellbeing of these animals and, in fact, how much space they actually end up with. It sounds as though this place is turning into a full blown zoo and there is only a finite amount of space available without it encroaching on publicly accessible land and pathways. Still, we are talking the about the Stockvale Group here, who will not be happy until they have used up the entire seafront. May as well then rename the town Stockvale-on-Sea.
good point...... it's hard to imagine there would be sufficient space for 'seals and penguins'...... maybe it's one of each
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Looking at this artists impression, it looks very much like the Stokvale Group want to use yet more public space for their own profit making enterprises. What I want to know is how much space all these new animal enclosures will need for the wellbeing of these animals and, in fact, how much space they actually end up with. It sounds as though this place is turning into a full blown zoo and there is only a finite amount of space available without it encroaching on publicly accessible land and pathways. Still, we are talking the about the Stockvale Group here, who will not be happy until they have used up the entire seafront. May as well then rename the town Stockvale-on-Sea.[/p][/quote]good point...... it's hard to imagine there would be sufficient space for 'seals and penguins'...... maybe it's one of each pembury53
  • Score: 1

9:50am Fri 21 Feb 14

Joe Clark says...

Just do it, more jobs, bigger better attraction NO cost to the Council, private investment and bringing back into use a disused piece of land.Sadly the nimbys who would rather Southend sit still and stagnate will do their all to prevent change and attempt to sculpt Southend into a small quite hamlet by the sea deviod of investment, devoid of job creation and devoid of hope.
Just do it, more jobs, bigger better attraction NO cost to the Council, private investment and bringing back into use a disused piece of land.Sadly the nimbys who would rather Southend sit still and stagnate will do their all to prevent change and attempt to sculpt Southend into a small quite hamlet by the sea deviod of investment, devoid of job creation and devoid of hope. Joe Clark
  • Score: -1

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