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New library up for award
3:40pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in Echo News
SOUTHEND’S new £27million library has been shortlisted for an award.
The Forum, which opened at the end of September, is in the running for a Placemaking Award run by Regeneration and Renewal Magazine.
It is up agains six other projects two of which are connected with the Olympic Park.
The finalists had to demonstrate how they were using, or planning to use, arts, culture or sport to improve the environmental, economic or social wellbeing of a community.
The Forum, in Elmer Square ,combines a joint public and academic library, a new home for the Focal Point Art Gallery and teaching facilities, including a 200-seat lecture theatre.
It also features a new public square overlooked by a big screen.
It was funded by Southend Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College.
They said in a joint statement: “We are extremely proud that our unique partnership project has been nationally recognised.
“This dynamic scheme has already made a huge impact on residents, students and visitors who are benefiting from upgraded and expanded library and learning opportunities. It has dramatically transformed the town centre and it is hard to remember that, only a few short years ago, an ageing multi-storey car park stood on this site.”
The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in London on January 28.
The Forum has already won a New Build Award in Southend Council’s design awards. The independent judges who selected the winners said: “The panel was very impressed with the design of the building which they thought had provided a great new community facility and public space.
“The panel see it as a positive step in realising a vision for an academic quarter in the area, commenting the building had brought a vibrant city feel to Southend town centre and it should be a catalyst for future regeneration.”
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