SOUTH Essex was graced by a visit from royalty.

The Duke of Kent officially opened three buildings in Basildon and Southend today, February 2. 

First on the agenda for the queen's cousin was the unveiling of Basildon's new £10 million state-of-the-art Pathology First laboratory in Bentalls, designed to speed up test results for patients across south Essex.Echo:

The Duke then headed to the Bradbury Centre in York Road, to open homeless charity Harp's new hub - which provides the only lifeline to the town’s single homeless.


Following, the Duke visited Southend’s new Forum library to unveil a statue of Her Majesty The Queen, and a plaque.

The state-of-the art library replaced Southend’s old library in Victoria Avenue and doubles as library for students from South Essex College and Essex University campus in Luker Road.

Costing £27m, the library was delivered jointly by Southend Council, the university and the college and opened in August 2013.