THE NEW public square outside Southend’s brand new £27million library will burst into life with a special tree-planting ceremony.

On Friday the planting at The Forum Southend will symbolise the new building taking root in the town centre.

The building is the first tri-partnership project of its kind in the UK. Officials from the three partners behind the innovative project will plant the saplings in Elmer Square.

Southend Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College have all provided funding for the new library. The council is providing £12.5m towards the cost of the project, with the University contributing £10.4m and the College £4.4m.

Inside the Forum will be the new joint public and academic library, state of the art teaching and learning facilities for both the University of Essex and South Essex College and also the Focal Point Gallery.

There will lso be a new café and lecture theatre.

Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Derek Jarvis said: “The ceremonial tree-planting is another milestone in the journey towards the opening of the Forum Southend which is a hugely exciting joint development.” R

egistrar of the University of Essex, Bryn Morris said: “I am delighted we have reached this stage in good time for the opening at the end of September. In six months The Forum Southend-on-Sea will open its doors to the public and students. These trees will help frame this superb new facility for the town.”

Principal and Chief Executive of South Essex College, Angela O’Donoghue said: “With the College situated opposite The Forum Southend-on-Sea it’s been great to see it grow from the rubble of the old Farringdon car park up to its near-completion.

“Students and staff are certainly excited about setting foot inside the building when it opens in September and this ceremony takes us a step closer to that.”