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Southend Forum 2


Approval Status


Removed From LGF Programme

Delivery Status


Removed From LGF Programme

Expected Completion Date


Removed From LGF Programme

Phase Two

Forum Phase 2 will directly capitalise upon the significant success of the Phase 1 Forum scheme. It will deliver a 5,308 sqm (GIA) new building on Council owned land immediately opposite the existing Forum scheme within the Southend Learning Quarter, also home to the South Essex College and the University of Essex Southend Campuses. The building will comprise a mix of educational/cultural/innovation functions and will be delivered and operated in genuine partnership between the Council and the College.

The Council is transforming Southend through a ‘Creating a Better Southend’ initiative, which comprises an ambitious programme of infrastructure projects to improve the perception/appeal and experience of Southend and to develop the town’s economy. The development of Forum Phase 2 will contribute to this wider regeneration activity within Southend. Forum Phase 2 will capitalise upon the success of the existing Forum facility and complete the transformation of Elmer Square into an attractive and innovative learning quarter within the heart of the town centre, which can be enjoyed by students and the wider community alike. It will provide much needed academic teaching/learning and workspace for new business startups and will serve as a key driver of wider town centre footfall and spend.

Project Update

The project was considered by Accountability Board on 16 October 2020 and the decision was made to remove the project from the LGF programme. Southend on Sea Borough Council and South Essex College (the College) have raised concerns about the viability of the Forum 2. These concerns primarily relate to the affordability of the capital cost of delivering the project and ongoing revenue costs due to the financial pressures on the College. Alternative options have been explored to identify alternative funding sources or to reduce project costs, but no viable options have been identified.

Capital Programme delivery update

Take a look at our update on the delivery of the Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Growing Places Fund (GPF) capital programmes.

SELEP Capital Investment Programme

£579m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock

In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government has brought £579m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal (2015-2021) we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs and 29,000 homes across the SELEP area, with the Deal set to attract a further £960m of investment into the South East over the six year period.

Find out more here
Funding value: £6m
Total Project cost: £8.26m
Return to Capital Investment