A HUGE new Primark in a prime location on Southend High Street will open next month - in plenty of time for the Christmas rush.

Bosses confirmed that the store, in the old BHS building, will open at some stage during October but no official date has been released.

Initially, it was hoped the shop would open during the summer, but the coronavirus pandemic saw work put on hold and delayed.

Plans for the three-storey Primark were approved last year as bosses revealed the popular shop would move from the Royals Shopping Centre to the High Street.

Opening will come as an added boost to town centre trade, which is already recovering well with figures showing visitor numbers are 16 per cent higher than in weeks before lockdown.

And shoppers have welcomed the news.

Samantha Pollitt, 32, from Shoebury, said: “I think it’s great the new store is finally opening and that it’s going to be bigger and better.

“We need that in Southend to draw in more shoppers because the high street is literally going down the path of extinction, especially what with covid-19.

“Southend really needs this right now, and it will save me a trip to Lakeside or London.”

Councillor Kevin Robinson, was pleased about the news but seemed apprehensive on the deadline.

He, said: “Hopefully they will get all their building work done in time.

“I went past it on Monday and it still looks like they’ve got significant amounts of work to do.

I’m hopefully that they’ll meet their timetable - my guess is that they’ll probably want to get it all sorted so that they are then ready for the pre-Christmas season.

“It is a very clear commitment of Primark to Southend town centre which is pleasing from our point of view as a local authority.

“I regularly go to Primark, as I’ve got younger children, it’s always clean, tidy, staff are friendly, they’re clearly pitching at the kind of market that we’ve got in Southend.”

A spokesman for Primark said: “Primark can confirm that its new Southend store will open in October.”