Students Staff

17 July 2013

Inspiring opening line-up at The Forum Southend-on-Sea

Professor Brian Cox

Professor Brian Cox OBE will be one of the highlights of the opening programme

An inspiring line-up of guest speakers has just been announced for the thrilling opening festival at The Forum Southend-on-Sea.

Tickets went on sale from 9am on Thursday 18 July for this eclectic programme. The easiest way to buy tickets for events at the 200-seater lecture theatre inside the building is via

Celebrated academic, TV host, author and scientist, Professor Brian Cox will launch the season on Monday 30 September, and 12 more exciting events are scheduled throughout the autumn.

Among the featured speakers will be politician and broadcaster Michael Portillo, BBC Journalist, George Alagiah and 2012 Turner prize winner, Elizabeth Price – whose work is amongst the first to be exhibited in the new Focal Point Gallery within The Forum Southend-on-Sea.

There is a special event for teens and for even younger visitors, the popular Southend Children’s Book Festival will be held in the new children’s library in the building.

In a joint statement, the three partners from The Forum Southend-on-Sea: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College said: “The Festival at The Forum Southend-on-Sea is designed to showcase this magnificent new facility for the whole community.

“A diverse calendar of events have been put together to attract as many people as possible to our unique partnership project.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to explore and enjoy The Forum Southend-on-Sea at these guest lectures and beyond.”

The programme at The Forum Southend-on-Sea in Elmer Square, Southend, is as follows:

  • Professor Brian Cox, scientist – Monday 30 September
  • Wendy Cope, poet – Sunday 6 October
  • Dr Pam Cox, historian – Friday 11 October
  • Paul Collicutt, graphic artist – Saturday 12 October
  • Cherry Sandover, fine art lecturer – Saturday 12 October
  • Jason Fergus, Director of Active Essex – Thursday 17 October
  • Professor Jules Pretty, Professor of Environment and Society – Thursday 31 October
  • Gallery talk – Saturday 2 November
  • Michael Portillo, politician – Friday 8 November
  • Stella Harcourt – Child reading expert – Tuesday 12 November
  • Elizabeth Price – artist – Thursday 14 November
  • George Alagiah – journalist – Friday 15 November
  • Camila Batmanghelidjh – founder of Kids’ Company – Thursday 21 November

Further details

The Forum Southend-on-Sea will provide a new public and academic library to replace the existing Southend Central Library, a new teaching facility for the College and new research and learning facilities for the University.

It will also deliver a new home for the Focal Point Gallery, as well as a 200-seat lecture theatre.

The Council is providing £12.5m towards the cost of the project, with the University contributing £10.4m and the College £4m.

For more information about this media release please call Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Media and Communications Team on 01702-215000 ext 5939 or e-mail:

...more news releases