Local area guide to the area surrounding Southend Airport
As a Estate Agent in Southend on Sea, new tenants often ask us about local amenities in the Southend on Sea area and further afield. We’ve put together the following information which we hope will be of use.
Voted Best Airport in the UK 2013 by Which? London Southend officially opened its modern terminal building in 2012. The increasing popularity with both passengers and carriers of the new facility operated by Stobart Air has resulted in rapid growth that was matched with the opening of a substantial extension to the attractive new terminal in 2014. The newly enlarged building will increase the airport’s capacity up to five million passengers per year.
London Southend Airport was developed from the military airfield at Rochford which opened as a civil airport in 1935, and now offers scheduled flights to destinations across Europe, corporate and recreational flights, aircraft maintenance and training for pilots and engineers.
During 2008, the airport was bought for £21 million by the Stobart Group from Regional Airports Limited. The subsequent financial investment, rumoured to be in excess of £100 million, led to vast redevelopment work and a huge increase in passenger numbers. From February 2012 to February 2013, a record number of 721,661 passengers used the airport after EasyJet launched its new routes from Southend into continental Europe. The previous highest recorded figure was set in 1967, when almost 600,000 people used the airport, with only Heathrow and Manchester airports having more passengers during that year. However, last year the airport broke all of its passenger records with nearly 1 million passengers flying through the airport between January and December.
EasyJet is now firmly rooted in Southend, offering flights to the likes of Amsterdam, Ibiza, Barcelona, Dublin, and Venice and Flybe signed contracts in early 2014, offering a host of new routes to France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Rail connections have been improved, with two lines into London Fenchurch Street and eight trains an hour running from the new £16m station beside the airport. A 129-room Holiday Inn hotel opened in October 2012 in a new £10m building a few minutes walk from the passenger terminal.
The London and South East catchment area of Southend Airport forms the hub of British commerce and industry. The airport is within easy reach of the City of London, headquarters to the European operations of most of the world’s leading financial institutions.
In addition, the region plays host to numerous blue chip businesses such as Ford at Dagenham. This is why increasing numbers of European business men and women are using Southend airport for short business trips into the city, avoiding the slow queues and regular delays at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
The close proximity of the Thames Ports also makes Southend Airport the perfect inbound route for the large scale petrochemical industries clustered around Tilbury and Basildon, such as Unilever, BP, Intergen and Calor Gas.
With the development and continuing growth of the airport and improved transport links into the city, the number of commuters looking to re-locate to the Southend area is only set to increase. Train journey times into Central London from the airport are 53 minutes into London Liverpool Street and 44 minutes to Stratford. Coupled with employment opportunities linked to the airport and aviation industry, housing demand is high. For anyone looking to invest in buy-to-let property, this is an excellent area to consider. With a constant supply of professional tenants and relatively inexpensive property so close to the capital, Southend has a lot to offer.