Southend-on-Sea is a seaside resort town and wider unitary authority area with borough status, on the north side of the Thames Estuary 40 miles east of central London. With 7 miles of award winning coastline, Southend-on-Sea is being transformed with both the public and private sectors investing heavily in the town – as recently recognised by The Economist when it concluded the Southend is on a par with Brighton.
Major public and private sector regeneration, airport expansion, new hotel investment, new educational institutions, improved road and rail provision and thriving, diverse business sectors have increased the number of opportunities available for those who live, work and visit the area. According to the latest figures from 2013, Southend-on-Sea currently has over 7,240 businesses located within the borough.
The Economic Development Team within the Department for Place plays a key role in trade, regeneration and offers available for businesses within the borough. The Team is acutely aware of Southend-on-Sea’s six key sectors and the way that these influence the business taking place within the borough. The six key sectors of Retail, Tourism, Medical Technology, Engineering and Aviation, Cultural and Creative, and Business Support, play a key role in the economy of the Borough.
The Economic Development Team administers the Southend Business Partnership, which is chaired by Murray Foster. The partnership is a network of over 1500 businesses, bringing together businesses of all sizes, sectors and backgrounds to share best practice, contacts, knowledge and news.
The team manages the quarterly briefings, bringing together speakers from both the public and private sector. These briefings offer the opportunity for businesses to connect with others, hear the latest news and future developments within the borough, as well as the chance for members of the audience to ask questions relating to their business and the borough as a whole to members of a chosen panel, which changes each Briefing and usually includes a high profile Southend Business.
The Economic Development Team distributes a weekly and monthly Newsletter, letting everyone on the SBP mailing list know about upcoming events, networking opportunities and funding offers available for businesses within the borough.
Committing to pursuing external funding opportunities which can benefit businesses and residents within the borough, is an important part of the Economic Development Team’s role. With grants and advice available to offer businesses within the borough, there is an increased availability for businesses to grow their venture. Some recent examples of successful bids that the team has been involved in includes: – The wave 2 City Deal, The Coastal Communities Fund, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the SELEP Growth Deal. The Team will continue to organise its resources to ensure the submission of successful bids.
The Economic Development Team plays a key role in the promotion of events within Southend-on-Sea, be that tourist, business or otherwise orientated events. They also utilises social media on a daily basis (@businessonsea on Twitter), as well as continually editing and promoting business information on their website www.busionessonsea.co.uk.
Whether you’re a pre-start business or an existing business, taking on an apprentice, looking for premises or just require some support, the Economic Development team are there to help you, whatever the nature of your business enquiry. Please do not hesitate to contact us.