Students Staff

06 February 2009

New year, new building

Southend Campus

Professor Colin Riordan with Jonathan Martin from the HCA in the Gateway Building.

The University’s Gateway Building at the Southend Campus is now fully completed, with the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, and Jonathan Martin from the Homes and Communities Agency viewing the new state-of-the-art facilities.

All of the Gateway Building is now being used fully, which means there are more teaching rooms and office space on the second floor and three more studio rehearsal rooms for East 15 Acting School on the fifth floor.

As well as being home to students on courses running at the Southend Campus (like BSc Nursing) the Gateway Building now includes two lecture rooms, each with capacity for 100 people, which are also available for community use.

Professor Riordan said: ‘This completes our first major project in Southend and signals our commitment to providing educational and training opportunities in south Essex. We are working closely with partners in Southend to raise aspirations and support economic regeneration.’

The University secured £1.5 million of funding from English Partnerships (now part of the Homes and Communities Agency) towards the cost of completing the fit out of the Gateway Building on Elmer Approach as part of the Agency’s commitment to the Southend Regeneration Framework and Central Area Masterplan.

Jonathan Martin, Area Director, Kent and Essex, at the Homes and Communities Agency, added: ‘We are delighted that the new Gateway Building is now fully open for business. These fantastic facilities will encourage more students to study in Southend. They will provide new opportunities not only for the University’s students but also for local businesses and residents.’

Students within Essex Business School, the School of Health and Human Sciences and East 15 Acting School, based at the Southend Campus. They benefit from modern lecture rooms, rehearsal studios with panoramic sea views and high-tech medical skills labs.

In addition, the Gateway Building houses the Business Hub, a specialist resource for companies of all sizes which aims to foster and promote economic sustainability. The Business Hub provides a wide range of support services and contemporary, professional facilities including a Business Incubation Centre for start-up businesses and the renowned i-Lab.

The Gateway Building was also funded by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), which has supported the development of the University’s presence in Southend since 2003 and, during this period, provided over £5 million of its own funds. Carole Edwards, Senior Skills Executive for EEDA, said: ‘It is good to see how EEDA’s funding has helped regenerate the centre of Southend through the development of this new campus.’


Notes to editors:
The attached pictures show University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan with Jonathan Martin, from the Homes and Communities Agency, at the Gateway Building.

For more information, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

The HCA is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England. The HCA brings together the development and regeneration expertise of English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government.

The HCA’s role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. The HCA provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment. During the next three financial years the HCA controls a budget of £17.3 billion. For more information, please see:

EEDA have supported the development of the University of Essex’s presence in Southend since 2003 and, during this period, provided over £5 million of its own funds. It has also managed the leverage of £14 million of ODPM funding to develop phase one of the Southend Campus. This includes £0.5 million to help establish a strong University presence, including an iLab at Princess Caroline House in 2004 before the Gateway Building was developed, £3.7 million for the purchase of the Odeon Theatre site, and a further £0.5 million for the Gateway Building. 

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

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