#Southend's Elmer Square vision bought to life
23rd May 2011
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New images bring Elmer Square project to life

The release of two computer-generated images has brought Southend’s pioneering Elmer Square library and learning development to life for local residents.

Architects ADP are currently in the process of drawing up final designs for the ambitious £26.9m scheme.

A formal planning application is due to be submitted to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Development Control Committee in May.

Earlier this month a two-day public consultation exercise took place at two different venues in the town.

On Tuesday 12th April the new images were displayed alongside proposed floor plans for the new scheme at the Elmer Suite in the University of Essex’s Southend Campus.

The following day they were available for inspection at the current Southend Central Library in Victoria Avenue.

And the plans met with overwhelming support, with 83 per cent of those attending in favour of the new library project, 13 per cent unsure and only four per cent against.

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

It will provide an integrated municipal and academic public library alongside a modern teaching facility for the College and a stimulating research and learning environment for the University.

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

It will be constructed on the former site of the soon-to be demolished Farringdon Car Park and 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 commence in early 2012 and be completed in autumn 2013.

Architects ADP successfully won the contract to design the new building and the maincontractors are expected to be announced in January next year.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Corporate Director for Adult and Community Services, Simon Leftley, said: “The new library will be a fantastic asset to the people of the town.  “It will be a place where people of all ages can come to study, learn, research and take part in a whole multitude of activities.”

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

Jan Hodges, Principal & Chief Executive of South Essex College, said: “Our future students will benefit immensely from these facilities.”

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Claire T

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