A BID to revive Clacton’s struggling town centre has been backed with promises of "substantial" cash from Tendring Council’s cabinet.

Clacton is one of a number of towns shortlisted to receive a share of the Government’s £1billion Future High Streets Fund.

The grant - which could be up to £25million - has been seen as a lifeline for Clacton’s town centre, which has lost Marks & Spencer, Mothercare and others in recent years.

Essex County Council and Tendring Council’s plans include rebranding the central shopping area with its historic name, Electric Parade, creating a new modern covered market in Pier Avenue, along with units for start-up businesses, alongside a new multi-storey car park and homes in Jackson Road.

The cabinet has now approved the principle of setting aside cash in its capital programmes budget to invest “substantial” sums in the town centre proposals, including the principle of buying strategic property and the reuse or disposal of council-owned land.

Officers will be instructed to continue to develop the proposals alongside the county council in anticipation of award of a significant grant from the Government.

Neil Stock, council leader, said: “This is a massive scheme – we’re keen to get money out of Government to help support this district.

“I’m not 100 per cent wedded to everything in the report and it may not be completely perfect, but we are going for a lot of money from Government.

“Some of the detailed bits that we’re not 100 per cent committed to will be subject to future decisions, but I’m sure we can make this work.

“If this bid is successful, we can really start to improve Clacton town centre.”

The plans for the town centre also include creating a new library and adult education facility at the site of the current library, in Carnarvon Road, alongside a new and improved multi-storey car park, as well as the restoration of the historic Savoy building in Rosemary Road and the redevelopment of the former Sandles site.

Mary Newton, cabinet member for business, said the rules for the bid stipulate a requirement for co-funding of the proposals to be demonstrated.

She added: “The council is promoting recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and a ‘Back to Business’ approach to the economy which interlocks closely with the renewal of the town centre.

“The proposals created include the redevelopment and reuse or disposal of property owned by both the district and the county council and the potential acquisition of further property.

“The amount of government grant will be determined during the bid process and detailed design and negotiations have not yet been fully concluded.”

She added that officers are also working with consultants on a potential public sector relocation to the area and with North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group on a potential Seacole patient rehabilitation centre.