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5 min read

Living And Working In Southend

Southend is a vibrant resort town in Essex which is positioned along the picturesque Thames estuary. It is around thirty six miles from London with the nearest airport being conveniently situated in Southend itself - London Southend Airport.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
February 14, 2024

Southend is a vibrant resort town in Essex which is positioned along the picturesque Thames estuary. It is around thirty six miles from London with the nearest airport being conveniently situated in Southend itself - London Southend Airport.

Southend has a rich history dating back centuries. Originally a cluster of fishing hamlets, it soon gained prominence in the 19th century as a seaside resort. The arrival of the railway in the middle of the century facilitated easy access and transformed the town into a popular destination for the Victorian holiday makers and those seeking day trips by the sea which was a novelty at the time. The iconic Southend pier which was initially constructed during this time, soon became a symbol of the town and a well known landmark. During the second world war, the town played a strategic role and faced many bombing raids due to its coastal location and after the war ended, Southend continued to evolve but made certain to retain its traditional seaside charm.

The economy of Southend is diverse and encompasses several sectors. Tourism plays a vital role for the local economy, with the town's seaside attractions, amusement parks and various cultural events which draw in visitors. The service industry, which includes retail and hospitality, is prominent. In addition to this, Southend has seen growth in the technology and creative sectors which contributes to its economic vibrancy. Advanced manufacturing, logistics, creative and digital industries, medical technology and healthcare, as well as construction are also sectors which are firmly established in the growing economy. Various maritime activities, given the coastal location, further contribute towards the economy and of course, the busy airport facilitates transportation and supports aviation related industries.

The economic landscape of the town reflects a mix of both traditional and emerging sectors which contribute to its unique resilience and adaptability. The South Essex area has plans to increase its contribution to the UK economy by £15 billion over the next twenty five years. The town's unemployment rate was lower than across the East of England as a whole in the year ending in June of last year. Entrepreneurial skills are actively promoted in the town to source and encourage the many areas of talent and to help new businesses to thrive.

The popular University of Essex has its Southend Campus in the heart of the town and offers a fantastic selection of facilities both on and off site, including medical laboratories and a state of the art library.

Southend stretches along seven miles of award winning coastline and is renowned for the landmark pier which is the longest of its kind in the world. With around seven million visitors each year, the town is known for its traditional seaside breaks at any one of the several beaches and the town is one of the warmest and driest places in the UK. A wide choice of watersports are available and if you are after a more peaceful experience, the nearby Belfairs Wood offers over 1160 acres of historic green woodland with the opportunity to observe the wonderful wildlife.

Southend has a choice of busy shopping centres, a regular market and with everything from independent boutiques to high street stores as well as many bars, cafes and restaurants, the town offers something for everyone.

There are many interesting attractions which include the SeaLife Adventure with over forty displays, Southend Pier Museum which gives a glimpse into the history of the town's most iconic landmark and the Grade ll listed Rayleigh Windmill.

The next event being hosted by the UK Careers Fair will be held on February 21st between 10am - 2pm. The venue is Cliffs Pavilion on Station Road, SS0 7RA. The building dates back almost a hundred years. World War Two caused construction to cease with the grand opening actually taking place in 1964.

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