A £100,000 plan to regenerate an Old Leigh landmark has been put in jeopardy.

Leigh Town Council has had to reopen its tendering process until the middle of this month after building firms failed to take an interest.

Only one firm contacted the council, but its estimates were greater than the budget for the project, which is jointly funded by Leigh Town Council and Southend Council.

The development would see Strand Wharf repaved in stone, showing the outlines of former fishing cottages, seating for “open air classrooms” and soft LED light to mimic moonlight.

Having been in “development hell” for ten years, the revived plans have been delayed by four months as work was due to begin this month, but will now not startuntil at least January.

Town clerk Paul Beckerson said: “We’ve gone out to tender again because we’ve ended up with only one tender, so we’ve added a few more to the list and hopefully we’ll have a choice this time.

“To start with, there was none, but then somebody did come forward, but it’s a bit over our budget.

“I think people are just too busy and, if you look at planning applications in Leigh, you can see there’s a lot going on.

“But we’ve also split the tender up this time because the main bit of the job is the paving and the company which does that might be put off by having to build benches and stuff.”

However town councillor Mark Bromfield, who opposed the development, said he was not as optimistic.

He said: “I’m not particularly in favour of it because it seems a lot of money for not a lot of return, but one would assume that, if noone was interested the first time round, they wouldn’t be interested the second time round.

“If no-one comes forward by the end of September, it could be some time before this gets off the ground.”

The Leigh Maritime Community Interest Company is also in negotiations with The Boatyard owner John Cross to turn the former Sea King boatyard on Strand Wharf into a maritime museum.