The spectacular £27 million ultra-modern library and learning zone is located opposite our Southend Campus and houses a huge range of books and resources as well being equipped with the latest technology.
Visiting The Forum Southend-on-Sea is a very different experience to the traditional type of education or public building as it is the first of its kind in the country. Jointly funded by Southend Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College, it serves three distinct groups of people; the public, students from the University, and students from the College.
The building consists of a superbly stocked integrated municipal and academic public library, a modern teaching facility for South Essex College, a stimulating research and learning environment for the University of Essex, a new home for the Focal Point Art Gallery and a 200-seat Lecture Theatre and refreshment facilities. The Forum is fronted by a sophisticated new public square which is overlooked by a big screen on which information will be displayed as well as coverage of art and cultural events.
The Forum’s reading area is larger than the previous library. More than 1,300 linear metres of additional books are available for public access as a result of the partnership with the College and University.
Technology is state-of-the-art with 106 computer terminals including eight quick access terminals on the ground floor. The whole building is WiFi. It is hoped that the ground-breaking addition of this educational hub to Southend town centre will prove to be an inspirational space for both students and the public.
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- A convenient place to live: Our Southend Campus is located in the heart of Southend High Street, with shops, restaurants and bars barely a stone’s throw away.
- Transport links: The transport links are excellent with a comprehensive bus network and two major London-bound train lines (including nine rail stations in the borough).
- Entertainment: Southend is famous for its great nightlife. There are pubs, clubs and restaurants to suit every taste and the seafront offers everything from a fun park with lots of rides, amusement arcades, bowling, a trip along our famous pier or just a day on the beach.
- Arts and festivals: There’s a strong community of artists in the town with regular shows and exhibitions such as the Beecroft and Focal Point galleries, which feature visits from international artists. Southend’s major theatres, the Cliffs Pavilion and the Palace Theatre, attract major West End touring productions, as well as concerts, ballet, opera and comedy. There are also various festivals throughout the year including: Southend Film Festival (April), Village Green (June), Leigh Folk Festival (June) and Thurrock Festival (July).
- Sport and leisure: Being a coastal town, windsurfing, sailing and kite surfing are popular local pastimes, with speedboat racing and a sailing regatta also taking place every year. If hiking along the estuary is your thing then you’ll enjoy picturesque Hadleigh Country Park and walks. For mountain bike fans the track created for the 2012 Olympics offers a challenging off-road course for both cyclists and runners.
- Parks, gardens and history: Southend offers a number of lavish parks, public gardens and woodland. It is a town steeped in history with an 11th century castle, an ancient priory and churches mentioned in the Domesday Book as well as several local museums.
- Food and drink: With around 300 places to eat in the borough, from large chains and independent family-run restaurants to the College’s own Waves restaurant, Southend offers a choice of global cuisine.
- Shopping: Southend has a huge variety of shops with all the major high street stores and plenty of small independent traders. There are two shopping malls; the Victoria Shopping Centre and The Royals Shopping Centre.
Opening times (all year round, 3rd floor only)
|Mon — Fri||08:00 — 22:00|
|Sat||08:00 — 18:00|
|Sun||11:00 — 17:00|