05 March 2008

Southend Campus officially launched

Southend Campus

Official opening of the Southend campus

The University of Essex's Southend Campus has been officially opened at a ceremony in which its new name was unveiled.

David Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), was guest of honour when the £25 million campus was launched as the Gateway Building, a name suggested by local resident, Julian Abel.

This name was chosen by the University as it clearly demonstrated the campus' significance in terms of its Thames Gateway location and also for its meaning as a gateway to learning, business and ultimate success.

The opening was also attended by the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan and funders and supporters of the development.

Professor Riordan said: ‘While new buildings are essential to this project, what we are about is changing people’s lives’. Guests were given a tour of the multi-use building to see the work of the three different areas of study, East 15 Acting School, the School of Entrepreneurship and Business and the Department of Health and Human Sciences.

They also visited the Business Incubation Centre which actively supports the economic regeneration of the area by providing affordable business spaces and professional support and guidance to new and developing local businesses.

The Gateway Building also houses a GP service and a state-of-the-art dental surgery which is used by local residents and students. Dental treatments on offer include check-ups, routine fillings, simple root canals, extractions, crowns and bridges and dentures. The work is carried out by fully supervised senior dental students studying at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. All treatment provided at the clinic is free. Since the dental surgery opened eight weeks ago, it has already treated more than 1000 patients.

Background information:

The Southend Campus offers courses complementing the current portfolio offered at the Colchester Campus. Degrees are available at a range of levels, from Foundation and Honours degrees through to Masters degrees and PhD schemes.

In December 2003 the development began with the purchase of the former Odeon cinema site which now houses the Gateway Building. It was completed in January 2007 when the first students moved into the new building.

The development was largely publicly funded, receiving £14 million from the Communities and Local Government Thames Gateway Growth Area Fund, £4.2 million from the East of England Development Agency, £3.5 million from ERDF Objective 2 and £4.5 million from HEFCE.

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail comms@essex.ac.uk

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