Southend has been a key area of growth for the government, with the local council redeveloping the area’s offering over the last 20 years. In 2015, we entered into a joint partnership with Southend Borough Council to turn what had simply been a green field at the back of Southend Airport, into a flourishing business park. All with the mission of creating an attractive proposition for businesses to stay in, or relocate to Southend, providing up skilling employment benefits.
The 52-acre site will now see a variety of offices and warehouses built for purpose over 1mil sq. foot, as well as a hotel for conference and meeting opportunities. A stone’s throw from the airport itself, this proximity gives businesses greater access and lifts the scale to national and international level.
The project has been backed by a Local Enterprise Partnership with government-grant funding, so we’ve worked with local authorities to distribute this investment appropriately. As part of this, we’re excited to be including a launch pad delivered by the council as part of the scheme. It will bring a striking innovation centre to the core of the park, driving the region forward with thinkers and researchers.
We’re now developing the site fully. And already, a third-generation business, and one of the biggest employers in the area, have decided to expand at Southend Airport Business Park, rather than move out of the region. The scheme will give industry access to the skilled labour, particularly in engineering, Southend has to offer. And ultimately, give the important players in the area a reason to stay, and those outside it a reason to rethink.