FORMER Southend MP Sir Teddy Taylor opened the first Discovering Business in Southend exhibition.

The exhibition, at the University of Essex’s campus in Southend, was organised by Networking on Sea, Essex Chambers of Commerce and the university.

It attracted hundreds of businesses, giving exhibitors the chance to network with each other as well as build contacts and relationships with other businesses there to see what was going on in Southend.

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “The event was intended to get attendees discovering the diversity of businesses in the Southend area and highlighting opportunities for entrepreneurs in south Essex.

“It did what it said on the tin and we received a lot of positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors alike.

“All in all, it was a great success.”

Dave Goody, Networking on Sea organiser, said: “The business community of Southend and the surrounding area supported this event wholeheartedly, putting many hours of effort and expertise into making it an unmissable event, one that will be eagerly looked forward to in the future.”

Phil Brown, Southend United manager, was host for a prize draw on the day with Ben Payne from Illuminate Design winning a signed Southend United football.

Danielle Jones, from Rickard Keen, won two return flights to Barcelona sponsored by easyJet.