07 April 2011

Have your say on the Elmer Square development

Southend Campus

Designs for the new community and academic library and learning development at Elmer Square in Southend go on display next week to give residents and members of the University community the chance to have their say. 

Architects ADP are currently drawing up final designs for the ambitious £26.9m
scheme. But before they submit their plans to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Development Control Committee in May residents are being asked for their input.

The public consultation will take place at two different venues in the town on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 April. On 12 April current plans for the new scheme will be on display in the Elmer Suite at the University’s Southend Campus in Elmer Approach from 9am to 7pm. The following day they will be available for inspection at Southend Central Library in Victoria Avenue from 9am to 5pm. The plans will also be displayed in the foyer of the Gateway Building at Southend Campus on Tuesday 3 May.

The Elmer Square development is a joint venture between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University and South Essex College of Further and Higher Education.

It will provide an integrated community and academic public library alongside a teaching facility for the College and a modern learning environment for the University. University facilities will include a 200-seat lecture theatre, teaching rooms and a learning hub, which will provide IT-enabled group and open study areas and quiet reading areas.

The building, which will be set within a new public square, will also provide a new home for the Focal Point Gallery and a new café.

The new building will be constructed on the former site of the soon-to be demolished Farringdon Car Park. It will be funded jointly by the Council (£12.5m), the University (£10.4m) and the College (£4m).

It is currently anticipated that construction work on the scheme will start in early 2012 and be completed in autumn 2013. The main contractors are expected to be announced in January next year.

Registrar and Secretary of the University, Dr Tony Rich, said: “This is a vital development to enable the University of Essex to provide the best possible learning facilities for its growing number of students in Southend.

“We believe it will also provide modern, high-quality facilities for the local community and we welcome the opportunity to show the plans to residents and hear their views.”

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