A £36MILLION scheme to save Clacton’s crumbling cliffs will get underway next month, it has been announced.

The scheme, which was approved by the Environment Agency in September, will see 22 fishtail groynes built along a 5km stretch of coastline from Clacton to Holland-on-Sea.

Tendring Council yesterday revealed that VBA Joint Venture Ltd has won the contract, which it said will also create new investment opportunities and lead to the renaissance of the seafront.

Work is due to begin in June and carry on throughout the summer and into autumn. It will start up again in spring 2015 and should be completed in the autumn of next year.

Nick Turner, cabinet member for the environment and coast protection, said the signing of the contract is a major milestone in project – the biggest ever undertaken by the council.

“It will get off the ground earlier than expected and will be completed in around 18 months – which is much quicker than we originally anticipated."

The contract was signed on the Lower Promenade with representatives of Tendring Council, Essex County Council and the Environment Agency, who have all provided funding, and project managers Mott MacDonald were also present.