The redevelopment of Elmer Square is a partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College of Further & Higher Education. The £26.9 million scheme will include an integrated municipal and academic Central Library and digital gallery, a modern teaching facility for South Essex College, and a stimulating research and learning environment for the University of Essex.
The 9,450 sq.m. building will include a 203 seat lecture theatre, a new café, teaching space for approximately 600 students at any one time with study space for a further 450 students and will also be the new home of the Focal Point Gallery.
The new integrated public and academic library will include a main reading area approximately 40% bigger than the existing central Library, over 100 ICT stations and over 200 other seats. The Children's Library will be located on the ground floor providing enhanced access whilst the building will be located in a new public square.
The new building will be funded jointly by the Council (£12.5m), the University of Essex (£10.4m) and South Essex College (£4m). The building is being designed by ADP Architects.