Castle Point


Castle Point

Castle Point is a local government district and borough in south Essex. The borough comprises the towns of Canvey Island, Hadleigh, South Benfleet, and Thundersley which also provides the site of the council headquarters.

History

The district was formed on April 1, 1974 by the merger of the Benfleet Urban District and the Canvey Island Urban District. The name of the new district contained references to the principal landmarks of the two combined urban districts: Hadleigh Castle and Canvey Point. The district was granted borough status in 1992.

Twinning

Castle point is twinned [ [http://www.castlepoint.gov.uk/Category.asp?cat=455 Castlepoint Borough Council] ] with three towns and counties which include:
Romainville, a North Eastern Paris suburb since 30th March 1962.
Cologne District, Germany. Formally since 19th June 1971 when Lövenich (Now part of Cologne) was an independent town.
County Roscommon, a County situated in the Republic of Ireland. Twinned with Castle point council in April 1998.

Places of Interest

Hadleigh Castle is preserved as an ancient monument from the 13th century, forming the most important historic site in the borough and the most important late medieval castle in Essex. The Dutch Cottage Museum contains a variety of exhibits that illustrate the history of Canvey Island, and The Castle Point Transport Museum, also situated on Canvey in the retired District bus depot, features a display of over thirty buses, coaches and commercial vehicles dating from 1929.

Transport

Situated just convert|30|mi|km from the heart of London, Castle Point is well placed by road, rail and air.

The borough is crossed by the A13 and bordered to the north by the A127, providing direct links to both Southend and London. The M25 is just 20 minutes drive away.

Frequent train services run through Benfleet on the London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line. Operated by C2C, the line offers a high quality and reliable service. In September 2007, Benfleet station also benefited from a £115,000 improvement programme to make the station more accessible for people with disabilities or using pushchairs.

Southend Airport is just a few miles from the border of Castle Point and currently offers private flights and summer trips to Jersey through low-cost operator Flybe. A £35million million development scheme – including a new control tower, terminal building and hotel - is currently underway to extend the passenger services available from Southend.

London Stansted airport is just convert|35|mi|km from the borough and offers a full range of national and international flights. Stansted is the third busiest airport in the UK and serves 160 destinations across 34 countries.

Castle Point also has an extensive bus network operated by the First Group and Arriva, with services across the borough and to Southend, Basildon, Lakeside Shopping Centre and Rayleigh. Weekday services by Stephensons of Essex also travel to London, Southend and Thurrock College and Regal Busways offers a six-day-a-week service to Chelmsford.

Sport and community facilities

Waterside Farm Sports Centre on Canvey Island, is one of the most comprehensive centres in Essex. Set in 88 acres of parkland and offering a wide variety of facilities indoors or out. It has a recently-refurbished 25-metre swimming pool, a learner pool and facilities for badminton, squash, netball, basketball, trampolining and gymnastics. The centre also includes an outdoor floodlit 6 lane, 400m Athletics track.

Opposite the Sports Centre is the Castle Point Golf Course, an 18-hole par 71 public pay-and-play course with a 17-bay floodlit driving range. The course is open seven days a week during daylight hours, 364 days a year. There is a PGA-qualified professional on site offering lessons for all abilities, both individually and as a group.

Runnymede Pool is situated behind the Council Offices in Kiln Road, South Benfleet. The pool complex consists of a 25 metre pool and learner pool, and is home to a very popular swimming club for disabled people.

Regeneration

Castle Point forms part of the Thames Gateway, making it the focus for some exciting regeneration projects. Castle Point Borough Council has been working with other key local agencies through the Castle Point Regeneration Partnership to look at long-term improvements to the borough.

The first phase of improvements focus on Canvey seafront. Investment in this key area of the borough, is designed to make the area more attractive for residents and visitors and also to encourage additional business investment.

Other regeneration projects in Castle Point have included:

• £350,000 from EEDA, enabling Castle Point Borough Council to create Canvey Heights Country Park from a former landfill site. • The RSPB purchase of land at West Canvey Marsh to create a nature reserve • The revamp of Thorney Bay, Canvey, by Castle Point Borough Council's street scene partner Pinnacle

The partnership brings together all local organisations working to improve Castle Point through long term regeneration. It includes Castle Point Borough Council, Essex County Council, East of England Development Agency (EEDA), Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, the Greengrid partnership, the RSPB and many more. They work together to make local improvements in a co-ordinated way and champion the area's interests regionally and nationally.

The partnership has also been:

• Studying ways to support existing businesses at Charfleets Industrial Estate • Looking at ways to create additional employment • Consulting about improvements to Canvey Town Centre with a view to making it the heart of the community and to encourage local shopping • Researching opportunities for the Paddocks area, so it supports the town centre and offers greater community provision. • Working closely with Essex County Council for improvements to the traffic capacity on the A13 to relieve congestion on Canvey Island. • Carrying out a study into how Hadleigh Town Centre can be made a more attractive community shopping area

In the long term also plans improvements to Manor Trading Estate in Thundersley and the Benfleet and Thundersley shopping centres.

Culture

Castle Point’s biggest event of the year is the Castle Point Show – the summer spectacular held at Waterside Farm Showground, Canvey. With live music, arena acts, crafts, competitions, stalls and a funfair, the show provides fun for the whole family. Held on the last Sunday in June, the show attracts thousands of people each year.

The annual firework fiesta, held on the nearest Friday to November 5, is also a popular event for residents and visitors from further afield. A spectacular display with background music wows the crowds each year at Waterside Farm Showground, Canvey.

Each year the Mayor of Castle Point holds a carol service at Runnymede Hall, Thundersley. Open to the public, this event is free to attend and is supported by the Salvation Army band and songsters.

See also

* Castle Point (UK Parliament constituency)

References

External links

* [http://www.castlepoint.gov.uk Castle Point Borough Council Home Page]


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