COUPLES across South Essex, struggling to have a child, have been given fresh hope as a world famous fertility clinic opens its doors.

The Bourn Hall Clinic - which pioneered IVF treatment and opened the world’s first fertility facility in 1980 - has opened a new clinic for would-be parents.

Based in a former surgery in Riverside House in Riverside Place, Lower Southend Road, Wickford, the satellite service will cater for couples who have been referred by the NHS as well as those who are funding their own fertility treatment.

The move also means that those going through the difficult process of trying to a child won’t have to face travelling to Colchester or Cambridge, where Bourn Hall currently has clinics.

The medical team at Bourn Hall Wickford will include two nurses and two part-time consultants - including Winston Justin from Southend Hospital and Jitendra Jadhav from Basildon Hospital.

One couple - Julie and Jonathan Thombs from Wickford who had their son Harrison in February last year following IVF treatment at Bourn Hall in London and Cambridge - welcomed the news.