Investing in Basildon
PUBLISHED: 12:54 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 15:56 20 February 2013
From top music acts to ambitious regeneration plans, Elizabeth Ross discovers why Basildon might just have what it takes to rock your world
Time to celebrate
THIS year marks Basildon's 60th birthday as a new town, but there are plans for a thorough makeover over the next few years. Of the 2 billion worth of regeneration funds pouring into the Basildon district as a whole, the town will receive around 1.1 billion. The money is earmarked for new homes, retail and office space, improvement to the rail and bus stations, and a new college. New Campus Basildon, a joint venture between SEEVIC College, Prospects College and South East Essex College, will provide first-class professional training for local students. Planning permission has just been granted for a 35 million sporting village on the edge of the town, and 700,000 will be spent on improvements to the A127 corridor, home to 40,000 jobs.
Basildon means business
The Basildon district area is one of the largest economies in the UK and home to the R&D and manufacturing units of many global businesses including the Ford Motor Company, Selex Communications, Gardner Aerospace and Case New Holland, which produces the world's fastest-selling tractors. Local analysts say that companies appreciate having easy accessibility to their partners in the supply chain. More than 200 million has been invested in Basildon's R&D sector over recent years. Basildon is also attractively placed to benefit from growth at Shell Haven in Thurrock, which is the largest container port in Europe. Following Dubai Ports World's acquisition of P&O, significant investment is expected to flow into the area. Local officials believe this will result in the creation of 10,000 new jobs over the coming years. Basildon also ranks among the top 35 most competitive business sites in the UK.
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital, located at Nethermayne, has just completed a 60 million 14,000sqm cardiothoracic centre. The centre is set to be the focus of substantial health sector growth in the district which is expected to enhance Basildon's position nationally as a centre for medical research and development. Local officials also claim that the town could become a national centre for the research and development of renewable energy technologies, working alongside Renewables East, the renewable energy agency for the east of England.
Where Basildon leads...
Basildon has the distinction of being a barometer of public opinion in general elections. Since 1974, where Basildon goes, the nation follows. Several big name bands and entertainers who have rocked the world's biggest stages hail from Basildon, including Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden and Alison Moyet, attesting to the town's creative energy. Basildon residents clearly know how to capitalise on opportunities wherever they may arise in a distinctive and imaginative way.