Number of Southend on Sea venues to re-open this week

December 2, 2020

Leisure and cultural venues will reopen this week following the Government’s announcement of the national tier system.

Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, Southend Pier, Central Museum, the Beecroft Gallery and the Borough’s libraries are among the places set to welcome back members of the public from Wednesday 2 December, as the town enters Tier 2 high level restrictions.

The council announced in November that leisure centres and tourism and cultural venues were to close in line with the national restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Saturday 31 October. The latest government advice states that leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools can reopen from Wednesday 2 December. Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre will reopen, however Chase Sports and Fitness Centre and Shoeburyness Leisure Centre, which are all managed by Fusion Lifestyle, will remain closed to the public, but will be available for school use as before. Belfairs Swim Centre remains closed, and Belfairs golf course will also re-open to golfers on Wednesday.

Southend Pier will welcome visitors back from 11.15am Wednesday, returning to normal opening hours from Thursday, and residents who booked tickets to see Santa on the Pier have been told they will be able to attend as planned. The Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre will remain closed for the time being, although the coffee shop at the Cliffs Pavilion will reopen.

The Borough’s libraries, which have provided an essential home delivery and click and collect service throughout the recent restrictions, will also open their doors for browsing once again. Click and collect and the home library service will also continue.

The town’s museums and art galleries will also start to reopen, and visitors to museums, galleries and libraries must wear face coverings when inside, unless medically exempt.

The following venues in the Borough will reopen from Wednesday 2 December:

  • Southend Central Museum will re-open on Wednesday 2 December
  • Prittlewell Priory visitor centre will re-open on Wednesday 2 December
  • Focal Point Gallery will re-open on Wednesday 2 December
  • Cliffs Pavilion coffee shop will re-open on Wednesday 2 December
  • Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre will re-open on Wednesday 2 December
  • Prittlewell Priory will re-open on Saturday 5 December
  • Southchurch Hall will re-open on Saturday 5 December
  • Beecroft Gallery will re-open on Saturday 12 December

“Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “As the Borough prepares to enter Tier 2 restrictions, I am pleased to announce that we will be able to reopen some of our much-loved cultural venues and centres which will be an important boost at this time.

“Our residents have risen to the challenge of the recent restrictions, which means we are in a position to reopen these public services for residents and visitors to enjoy. If we continue to adhere to Government guidance, then we can help keep the R number and local positive cases down in Southend-on-Sea.

“Other venues including libraries and Focal Point Gallery will also reopen, but with measures in place to ensure visitors and staff are kept safe and well.

“I know that this will be welcome news to many of our residents who can once again visit and explore Southend’s rich cultural heritage, in a time when we all appreciate the little things in life that bit more. We will continue to monitor Government guidance and will continue to communicate any changes to our services with our residents.”

For more information about closures and changes to council services, please visit


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