Students Staff

16 December 2013

The Forum Southend-on-Sea shortlisted for national award

The Forum Southend-on-Sea has just been named among the best in Britain.

The iconic new £27 million joint library and learning hub in Elmer Square Southend has been shortlisted for a Placemaking Award in the ‘Best use of arts, culture or sport in placemaking’ category. The awards are designed to recognise and publicise projects, plans, people and organisations that are making places better and are organised in association with independent newspaper Planning and online news provider Regeneration and Renewal. 

The Forum joins six other shortlisted projects battling for the top title including two connected with the Olympic Park.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in London on Tuesday 28 January 2014.

Finalists had to demonstrate how they were using, or planning to use arts, culture or sport to improve the physical or environmental quality of a place, or the economic or social well-being of a community.

The Forum Southend-on-Sea is the first development 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.

This shortlisting is another major achievement for The Forum which has just also won a coveted New Build Award in Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s design awards and the overall title.

The three Forum partners - Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College – said in a joint statement: “We are extremely proud that our unique partnership project, The Forum Southend-on-Sea has been nationally recognised.

“This dynamic scheme which opened on Monday 30th September has already made a huge impact on residents, students and visitors who are benefiting from upgraded and expanded library and learning opportunities.

“It has dramatically transformed Southend Town Centre and it is hard to remember that only a few short years ago, an ageing multi-storey car park stood on this site.”

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

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