WORK has begun to develop a new multi-use community hub in Clacton town centre as part of a massive “Levelling Up” scheme.

The new multi-storey building will sit at the site of the current Clacton Library, in Station Road.

The hub will house a brand-new library, local registration services and an Adult Community Learning Centre.

It will also include a space for Essex University’s new Centre for Coastal Communities.

Essex County Council has contributed £7.9million for the scheme in addition to the £3.1million already allocated from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The council said the redevelopment of the site will visually improve the area and create a welcoming environment for people arriving by car or train.

It will also give residents a bespoke learning and skills centre, offering accessible opportunities for residents to gain qualifications and local employment.

The community hub will “kickstart” regeneration projects in Clacton as part of the Government’s Levelling Up Partnership and Long-Term Plan for Towns initiatives, bringing millions of pounds of investment into the town.

Councillor Lee Scott, County Hall’s cabinet member for planning a growing economy, said: “This is a significant project for the council, the town and most importantly, its residents.

“It is an opportunity to level up a priority area in our county, working in partnership with Tendring Council and supported by the government.

“The community hub will bring together key services and offers something for everyone in the local area to benefit from.”

The £3.1million of Levelling Up cash is part of package of almost £20million of funding awarded to Tendring Council last year for the regeneration of Clacton town centre. The Clacton Civic Quarter project will also see the construction of 28 “well-designed” new homes, improvements to the existing carpark, as well as the creation of new “maker space units” for retail entrepreneurs.

Cash has already been spent on the demolition of the disused Carnarvon House office block as part of the scheme.

Ivan Henderson, Tendring Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and tourism, added: “This is a hugely exciting project, which will help to raise aspirations and teach new skills for generations to come, as well as regenerating part of the town centre – part of a wide-range of initiatives to improve quality of life in Clacton.”

Residents will be kept informed on the progress of the works.

Temporary arrangements will be made for library users when construction begins. At present the library remains open.

The county council’s housing team will be leading delivery of the hub and design team Saunders Architects have been appointed.

Later this year a public consultation will be held on the design proposals.