The Forum Southend-on-Sea was completed in August 2013 and is one of Southend's newest buildings. The modern, four-storey building is a state-of-the-art library and learning facility in the heart of Southend's town centre, just off of Southend High Street. According to The Forum, the "£27m enterprise is delivered jointly by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College". This way, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College can pool their educational resources and records into a single state-of-the-art learning hub for students, locals and visitors alike. This presents far more benefits and opportunities for visitors to The Forum, opening up a whole new world of learning.
Southend Library, which once stood next to Southend Central Museum on Victoria Avenue, is now conveniently located at The Forum with the hopes that the increased accessibility will encourage both locals and visitors alike to visit The Forum - not just for the books, but for everything else that The Forum has to offer.
The Forum welcomes visitors of all ages, whether you would like to visit with young children, as a student, or as an adult looking to broaden your horizons or just discover something new. You can come to The Forum to read and study, or even participate in the regular activities and community events held at The Forum.
The Forum is also home to the Focal Point Gallery, which exhibits contemporary visual art throughout the year, giving artists a platform to showcase their artistic talents to the public and really contribute to making The Forum the cultural hub that it is.
Other on-site facilities include a café, computer and internet access, a public square buzzing with eager minds and connecting The Forum to the College and University, indoor lecture theatres and meeting rooms. A large and impressive screen, known as The Forum Big Screen, overlooks The Forum square and showcases creative video projects and ideas from local, national and international artists and organisations. From animations, music videos, and short films, there is always something inspiring to watch as you hang out in the square.
The building and surrounding area is also wheelchair friendly (with manual wheelchairs available for use within the building), and the Lecture Theatre and teaching rooms are equipped with hearing loops. There are also public toilet blocks within the building for your convenience.
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