ONE of Southend’s biggest shopping centres has just gone on the market... for a whopping £10.4 million. 

The Victoria Shopping Centre, based on Chartwell Square, Southend, sits right in the heart of the borough. It is home to some of the UK’s biggest shopping giants including Next, Deichmann-Shoes, Metro Bank and Poundland.

Although the reason for the sale is unknown, council bosses say the site is key to not only Southend’s recovery after Covid-19, but also major developments such as Queensway - which will see 1,600 homes built, if approved.

Daniel Cowan, Labour councillor for the St Laurence ward, said: ‘There could be a lot of reasons behind the sale but whoever will take it over will have their work cut out. 

“It needs to be more than just clothes shopping. With the 1,600 homes at Queensway, the shopping centre will be their corner shop.

“It’s right in the heart of Southend and can help lead the recovery from the pandemic. 

“It’s so important to the town and it has the potential to be a real steal for the new owners.”

Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend Council, added: “We all know the difficult environment we’re in at the moment, but the centre still has a lot to offer.

"Along with its occupants and the large Wilkinson’s, there’s a gym, a community hub and more.”

Concerns have, however, been raised as to whether a buyer would be prepared to pay such a hefty price while the pandemic continues.

Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “It’s a big ask at the moment for people to pay, but we are still committed to the town centre and don’t plan on pulling out on it.

“It’s not a shock given the current climate and the fact we have two shopping centres in the town, including The Royals, but I do hope it is taken over.

"I’d like to meet with the future owner to hear what they’d like to do and how we can help.”

The massive 338,538 square foot centre has been brought to the market by Savills.

Toby Ogilvie Smals, director in the investment team at Savills, believes the centre is expected to attract “strong demand from investors”.