BUSINESSES are toasting a £6million shot in the arm thanks to Southend’s new £27million library.
The building, called the Forum, will replace the dilapidated library in Victoria Avenue as well as hosting new classrooms for South Essex College and research facilities for the University of Essex.
Contractor Wates Construction chose ten Essex suppliers to make sure the county’s businesses benefited from the cash coming into the area.
Peter Wilson is the director of P & J Decorators in Westcliff – one of the businesses chosen to work on the project.
He said: “It has been really rewarding to lend our services to the development of the Forum and be part of a project that is set to play such an important part in the local community.
“We’ve really enjoyed working with Wates on site and contributing to the construction of this impressive building. We’re really grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of their supply chain in Southend.”
Steel fabricators JJ Donovan & Sons, based in Wickford, and Sealtite Sealants, in Stanford-le- Hope, have also been working on the landmark building.
Professor Brian Cox will open the new facility with a lecture on September 30. Work started on the building in February 2012.
Peter Whitmore, from Wates Construction, which is building the Forum, said: “As part of our continued commitment to working with local suppliers, we have immersed ourselves in the community in Southend to ensure this flagship project benefits businesses based in the area.
“The resulting figures reinforce the importance of investing in construction as a means of stimulating economic growth – enabling contractors like us to pass this investment through a locally based supply chain, thereby boosting employment and benefiting the local economy.”