Summit focuses on Southend City centre regeneration
A City Centre Summit has seen the start of work to form a new vision and action plan to regenerate Southend City Centre as agreed last year.
Leaders from business, community, education, culture and creativity, adult and children's services, environmental services, the police and more came together on Monday, 21st March at the Civic Centre to discuss how best to improve the economy, jobs, services for families, support for young and older people, and the social and cultural life of our City. The event marks the start of a process to hear from people across the area to ensure everyone has a chance to share their views about the future of the City Centre area, which includes central Southend, the High Street and central area of the seafront.
At the event, Cllr Ian Gilbert, Leader of the council and cabinet member for economic recovery and regeneration, commended the process saying: "We are committed to economic recovery and I am so pleased that the council are working to form bigger and better plans for our new city centre through engaging with various stakeholder groups. Southend-on-Sea is rich in diversity and opportunity and it is important that our discussions reflect that to ensure we create a future that works well for everyone."
Residents will be able to have their say at a public event outside The Ironworks, Unit 90 on Southend High Street. This will take place from midday on 12 May. This drop-in event will ask residents of Southend-on-Sea about the future of our City, including aspects such as High Street transformation and regeneration. More details of this event will be publicised in early May.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member environment, culture, tourism and planning, said: "This summit was the start of an important conversation about the future of our City Centre area and High Street. We have seen the benefits of our investment into the Victoria Centre and the regeneration of London Road for example, and we are now looking forwards to what else can be done collectively to give us a City Centre to be proud of, and one where we see more investment, jobs and visitors. Residents and other key stakeholders will be vital to this process, with a public event planned for early May."
This engagement will inform the vision and action plan being developed. Consultants 'We Made That' are analysing how this area is performing economically and socially and will also be drawing on conversations with stakeholders and experiences of other cities nationally and internationally, and ensure the City Centre is vibrant and thriving, with an inviting mix of shops, homes, arts, culture, and leisure. The Council is working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to develop this new way forward for the City Centre. Consultants are aiming to complete their work before the summer holidays so that an action plan can be put in place, and plans can be drawn up to attract investment to make improvements to our City Centre.
Mark Bartrip, Chair of Southend BID, added: ""The BID was pleased to attend this summit and see these conversations with stakeholders start which aim to make Southend even better for residents, businesses, local community groups and visitors. We are happy to support these discussions and we are sure that the valuable feedback gained will inform vital plans for bigger and better things in our City."