A JAM-PACKED “city week” to celebrate Southend’s newly-secured status is set to invoke a sense of civic pride and show it at its very best.

Fittingly, Southend City Week will start next Sunday with a concert - called He Built This City - to honour the legacy of Sir David Amess whose legendary campaigning ultimately secured the city status honour.

Other major events include a City Ceremony, a creative open day at Focal Point Gallery called S For Southend and the Southend Scout and Guide Gang Show at the Palace Theatre

The hotly-anticipated Southend LuminoCity Festival of Light will also see a series of art installations placed in locations across the town centre, pier and seafront.

Musician Sam Duckworth, who is involved in the events, underlined the importance of believing in a “city in genesis”.


Performing - Southend singer Sam Duckworth.

Performing - Southend singer Sam Duckworth.


Writing on Twitter, he said: “It’s easy to dunk on Southend, but it’s also easy to get on a train and come and visit and see a community coming together, working hard across party lines, being tolerant in difference and being actual Southend, as opposed to lazy stereotype Southend.”

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Speaking of his pride at being involved, Sam said: “Sir David Amess asked me to be a part of the city bid, after sharing a common love for the Kursaal, seafront pageantry and the arts.

“I first met him at aged 14 when I won a young enterprise competition, on a concept based around turning the old gasworks into an arts centre, 22 years on and not much and somehow everything has changed.


Make Southend a City - Sir David Amess.

Make Southend a City - Sir David Amess.


“The one thing we always agreed on was a belief in the people of Southend and the fact it was a city in waiting.

“After agreeing to be part of the project, I was quickly catapulted into a world of do-gooders, that’s who we are as Southenders, we get on and we do.”

Working with Southend Council, organisers have arranged a number of other events.

Sam, who was part of Sir David’s city bid before his death, added: “Being a part of the this is a huge honour for me. Southend is my home, it’s where I was born and its where I make my records.


Together - one of the installations at LuminoCity.

Together - one of the installations at LuminoCity.


“It’s been a bittersweet time since, a community united in grief, coming together through our differences and building upon each other’s strengths.

“It feels both exciting and solidifying. From projects uniting faith, race, and culture, crossing aisles and generations, this city year is going to be Southend at its very best.”

For more details https://southend.city/