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Southend-on-Sea is a resort town in Essex, England.

History and overview

The town has a population of around 160,000 and is located on the Thames estuary roughly 40 miles (65 km) east of London.

Originally the south end of the village of Prittlewell, the town became a popular seaside resort for Londoners during the Victorian age. Due to its proximity to London and easy access by train, the town's economy has largely been based on tourism ever since. The town boasts the world's longest pleasure pier at 1.25 miles (2 km) long. However, from the 1960s onwards much of the centre of Southend was developed as a centre of commerce. Customs and Excise are major employers in the town, and the central offices for the collection of VAT continue to be located here. Over the next few years Southend is planning the opening of a new university which it is hoped will regenerate the somewhat flagging economy in the region.

Since 1980 the MP for Southend East and nearby Rochford has been Sir Teddy Taylor (Conservative).

Southend Airport

Southend Airport supports scheduled flights to Jersey on summer Saturdays but is insignificant for public air travel. Developed from the former military airfield at Rochford it supports an important mix of engineering activities related to aviation and some pilot training, corporate and recreational flights. Management would certainly wish to revive its status as a passenger airport but many neighbouring residents feel otherwise.

See also; Prittlewell, Eastwood, Westcliff on Sea, Leigh on Sea, Shoeburyness, Thames Gateway, UK topics