9 January 2019: 2:35 pm
Basildon turns 70
Basildon celebrates its 70th birthday this year, with a series of events to mark the occasion.
Kevin Blake, Basildon Council’s deputy leader, said: “We want to get everyone involved in celebrating a wonderful year. We know Basildon people are passionate about Basildon, so they will want to celebrate being part of it.
"We're committed to working with the community to make Basildon's 70th birthday an occasion to remember."
The concepts for Basildon were established on 4 January 1949, when a designation order was signed by the government to start building works on the place, as part of the New Towns project. Plans were drawn up in 1946 to ease post second world war overcrowding in London: the war had ended the previous year.
The concept by MP Lewis Silkin, then minister for town and country, was that they should be filled with cultural opportunities, and green spaces.
People were originally encouraged to move to the town with the promise of an indoor bathroom. Now, around 180,000 residents currently live in the town, which is 64% still green belt land.
Modern-day Basildon is to undergo substantial regeneration. Last year the council was awarded just under £10 million of government funding for it’s town centre master plan, which will see the building of thousands of homes, a new cinema, and restaurants.