Students Staff

27 September 2013

Welcome to The Forum Southend-on-Sea!

The Forum Southend-on-Sea

The Forum Southend-on-Sea

The doors of The Forum Southend-on-Sea are opening to the public for the very first time on Monday (September 30) and Professor Brian Cox will provide the perfect climax to the special day with a hotly anticipated sold out lecture.

The iconic building in Elmer Square, Southend, is the first of its kind in the country - thanks to the key partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College.

By pooling resources they have produced a state-of-the-art hub of knowledge, learning and culture for all in the heart of Southend Town Centre. The Forum combines a joint public and academic library, a new home for the Focal Point Art Gallery and innovative teaching and learning facilities including a 200-seat Lecture Theatre.

To add to its attractions, The Forum is fronted by a new public square overlooked by a Big Screen, an accessible showcase for arts and culture.

University of Essex Registrar Bryn Morris said: “The result of this unique partnership is a superb academic and public facility for the people of Southend and its many high-achieving students.

“The University of Essex has been active in Southend for more than a decade now, investing more than £100 million over the years. From the very start we have maintained strong links with South Essex College and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

“Our relationship with both partners has flourished during the creation of The Forum Southend-on-Sea and we are very proud to be playing a mayor part in the success of the town.”

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Derek Jarvis, said: “The Forum Southend-on-Sea is a flagship development and we are extremely proud to have achieved this in partnership with our colleagues from the University of Essex and South Essex College.

“Our combined efforts will help residents, students and visitors benefit from upgraded and expanded library and learning opportunities.

“Standing majestically on the site of a former multi-storey car park, The Forum Southend-on-Sea is a crucial step in the continuing regeneration of the town. This magnificent structure and all that it contains will become a major forum for the whole community.”

Principal and Chief Executive of South Essex College Angela O'Donoghue said: “It’s been exciting to see The Forum rise up opposite our Southend Campus and it has certainly got students, visitors and staff excited about its opening and facilities.

“Whether local people are using it to take books out, surf the internet or, like our students, use it for their studies, The Forum will be a fantastic forum for learning and an inspiring beacon for education right in the heart of Southend Town Centre.”

To find out more about the Forum Southend-on-Sea please visit:

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