CANVEY may miss out on funding for plans to revamp and revitalise the seafront - after it emerged they are up against hundreds of other coastal areas.

Castle Point Council is expecting a decision by the end of this month on funding for the huge improvements project.

Initially, the council stated its confidence in bagging roughly £1.3 million - but now it has been revealed it is competing with 280 others bids.

Government received bids totalling £256 million, but only has £45 million allocated to be distributed this year.

Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday, councillor Ray Howard said: “We put a bid in for Thorney Bay of approximately £1.3 million.

“I thought we had a good chance of getting funding.

“But I have to inform you that there were 280 bids put in which adds up to £256 million!

“The money that the government is allowed for this year is £45 million, which gives you some idea on our chances.

“I have to say I remain confident.”

Following consultations earlier this year, it was decided to prioritise proposals for the Thorney Bay area, while other areas, including Labworth Green were considered for further funding.

The bid consists of funding for a grand scheme which includes the construction of a pavilion at Thorney Bay, including public toilets and a retail kiosk, resurfacing and lighting of the footpath on the land-side of the sea wall from Thorney Bay to Labworth, and an extension of the Thorney Bay car park.

The proposals also include visitor information, and refurbishment of toilets at the Labworth and Lubbins car parks.

One seafront trader, who asked not to be named due to his ongoing relationship with the council, admitted it was disappointing to hear the odds where stacked against the project, despite all the positive talk that had been going on.

He said: “That is quite disappointing to hear in all honesty.

“I knew we where expecting a decision soon but I was quite confident as it had been made out like we had a very good chance.

“The way it sounds now we are probably quite unlikely, which is sad.

“When I first saw these plans I thought they looked really good, but did think it was a bit of a pie in the sky idea that was never going to happen. Then I have been convinced by all the positivity. Hopefully we do get something and the project can get off the ground.”