Nominations open for the 2024 Tendring Youth Awards

Nominations have opened for the eighth Tendring Youth Awards – including a new category for 2024.

The awards celebrate amazing accomplishments by young people who live, study or work in Tendring, across a wide range of categories; as well as adults who support them.

Nominations open now, ahead of the glitzy gala awards evening in July, to give people plenty of time to put forward young people.

Harwich Haven Authority returns as headline sponsors of the awards for a fifth year, with the Tendring Youth Awards also supported by Tendring District Council and Essex County Council.

Other sponsors so far include the Princes Theatre, Tendring Careline, Actual Radio, Halterman Carless and Aquinas Provisions Ltd, while Latimer by Clarion Housing Group and TimeLine Auctions Limited join as new sponsors for 2024.

Newly introduced for 2024 is a Young Life Saver Award, to recognise young people who have either directly saved a life, or who have taught and shared skills to train others to do so.

This joins the existing ten categories such as Community Improvement and Environmental Initiative – both of which come with a bursary for the winner – and the Unsung Hero award for adults who support young people.

This year the Tendring Youth Awards committee has also re-named the former Volunteer Award to ‘For the Good of All’, in recognition of wider community volunteering that many young people carry out.

Individuals or groups of young people, such as youth organisations, can be nominated; while the various categories recognise academic achievement, inspirational caring, work in the community and efforts to help the environment, among others.

A panel of judges assess the nominations after the deadline of Sunday, 21 April, and compile a shortlist of finalists, who will be invited to a glitzy presentation evening at Clacton’s Princes Theatre on Tuesday, 9 July.

Karen O’Connor, Chairwoman of the Tendring Youth Awards, said that a decade on (the awards missed two years due to Covid-19) she was still humbled by the incredible achievements of young people in the area.

“Each and every year we learn about some truly incredible young people, and I cannot wait to see the nominations this year,” Karen said.

“However, that is only possible with your help – so please think about young people you know and put them forward for a Tendring Youth Award.

“I am particularly looking forward to seeing what nominations we receive in our new category, Young Life Saver, which I am confident will be full of inspiring stories.

“I would also like to thank our sponsors for their continued support – particularly our headline sponsors, Harwich Haven Authority, and our new sponsors for this year, Latimer by Clarion Housing Group and TimeLine Auctions – and if your business or organisation would like to sponsor the awards, please do get in touch.”

To nominate someone for a Tendring Youth Award, complete an online nomination form at or request a form and submit it via – alternatively you can fill it out and return it by post to Tendring Youth Awards (Nominations), Town Hall, Clacton, CO15 1SE.


Tendring business owners invited to free event for staff support

T4G Support your staff

This free-to-attend ‘Supporting Your Staff’ event is designed for SMEs, either already employing staff or new to recruitment, to learn more about the current schemes available to assist with employee support, as well as more general topics including current legislation and advice from a Human Resources (HR) perspective.

Our keynote speakers include, with more to be announced:
Paula Fisher from Practical HR, who will be speaking about the DAAWN Project (Domestic Abuse awareness in the Workplace Now), which enables SMEs to recognise the signs of employees living with domestic abuse (supported by Essex Chambers of Commerce).

Tracey Salisbury from HR Prime Services Ltd, a local company, who will be speaking about the general HR picture for small businesses.

Debbie Burns from Able Futures, who will be speaking to give information, resources, and guidance available through Able Futures relating to employee’s mental health.

This event will be taking place:
14th March 2024
10:00am to 12:30pm
At the Jaywick Sunspot, Brooklands, Jaywick, Essex, CO15 2JG

Join us for this thought-provoking and informative event at the Jaywick Sunspot, with light refreshments provided and plenty of time for networking with other like minded business people afterwards. See you there!

Sign up at

Sunspot shortlisted in architecture awards

The Sunspot development in Jaywick Sands has been recognised for its architecture.

The commercial workspace and retail development, run by Tendring District Council (TDC), has been shortlisted for a 2024 MacEwen Award – a scheme run by the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Journal.

Designed by Colchester-based HAT Projects and built by Essex firm TJ Evers, the Sunspot is a £5.3million project made up of 24 commercial units – a mixture of retail and office space – along with a covered market, event space, café and other amenities.

It received £2.39million from the Government’s Getting Building Fund administered by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), with an additional £2.04million funding coming from Essex County Council (ECC), and £816,000 from TDC; which is also using part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation for operating costs.

Sunspot is one of 13 projects to be shortlisted in the award, and is in the final two in the Workplace and social enterprise category – and the winners are due to be announced at the end of this month (January 2024).

The accolade follows other recognition in the architecture sector, with Observer critic Rowan Moore listing Sunspot as one of the five best architecture projects of 2023 – describing it as “a new landmark” for Jaywick Sands.

Hana Loftus, one of the directors of HAT Projects, said the recognition was high praise for the work.

“We hope the community in Jaywick Sands is proud that Sunspot is gaining recognition for its innovative model and impactful design – this project is for them first and foremost,” she said.

“Everyone deserves beautifully-designed buildings in their neighbourhoods, bringing joy to everyday life as well as helping people to thrive through the facilities and opportunities they provide.

“Our practice ethos is founded on bringing that joy and care into every project and as a locally based practice, it is particularly special to be able to make a difference in our local area.”

Councillor Ivan Henderson, TDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, added: “A key aspect of the whole Sunspot project was to create something that could act as a gateway to the part of Jaywick Sands it sits on, so to have it described as a ‘landmark’ means we have definitely hit the brief.

“Sunspot is proving very successful, a popular place for businesses to base themselves and for people to visit.

“My thanks go to everyone involved in making Sunspot a success, and particularly to HAT Projects for their design which has led to this fantastic recognition.”

Councillor Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Planning a Growing Economy at Essex County Council, said: “It is great to see that the Sunspot Development has been recognised nationally. It really is a fantastic space for businesses, helping both new and existing business to flourish.

“It is also proving to be a valued local place for residents and those further afield to visit and enjoy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for all their hard work in making the development possible.”


Council commits to Clacton Airshow for four years

Clacton Airshow will go ahead for the next four years under a commitment made today (Friday, 25 January).

A Cabinet meeting held at event organisers Tendring District Council (TDC) agreed to run a Clacton Airshow annually up to and including 2027 during a meeting this morning.

Clacton Airshow – which is staging its 31st event this year on 22-23 August – regularly attracts 250,000 visitors over the two days, and is worth an estimated £12.2million to the local economy.

Clacton Airshow Crowd

Ivan Henderson, TDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, said the four-year decision put the event on a more sustainable footing.

“Clacton Airshow is a fantastic event, there is no doubt about that, and gives a huge added value to the district economy,” Cllr Henderson said.

“It also involves a serious commitment of money, time and resources from this council; all things we – like local authorities up and down the country – do not have endless supplies of and need to carefully consider where we use them.

“The economic benefits, and the smiles on people’s faces as they turn their eyes to the skies, make Clacton Airshow a worthwhile investment. By committing to it for four years, instead of annually, means the brilliant team that puts it together can benefit from economies of scale and explore further income options to reduce its cost to the council – safeguarding its future going forward.

“We are confident this will be a welcome decision, not only from the hundreds of thousands of flight fans, but also from local residents who told us in our recent Corporate Plan consultation that the event was something they were proud of. Indeed, this meets Our Vision theme of promoting our offer and attracting visitors to the area.”

The decision does not mean that the Airshow will end in 2027, but will be subject to a further review and commitment.

Keep up to date at

Couple looking up at the sky

Visit Essex Destination Management Plan survey

Visit Essex is the destination management organisation for the county and its remit is to promote and develop tourism across Greater Essex.

They have just appointed Tomorrow’s Tourism Ltd. to help develop a Destination Management Plan which will give a clear route map for our county with a new vision, objectives and actions to drive the growth of the visitor economy.

They would love to hear your views on what’s important. Please go to the survey here and tell us more about what the future of tourism in Essex should look like.

Five star reviews for Aladdin panto at Princes Theatre

Five-star reviews have been pouring in for this year’s pantomime at the Princes Theatre, Clacton – and it is not too late to book your tickets.

Audiences have left glowing comments about Aladdin from its early performances, and anyone who has not yet bought tickets are encouraged to do so before the shows sell out.

Tickets for the pantomime – whose stars include former Eastenders star ‘Nasty Nick’ John Altman, pop sensation Cleopatra Higgins, and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Graeme Matthews as Wishee Washee – can be bought at or by calling the Box Office on 01255 686633 (option 1).

Reviews left on the Princes Theatre’s TripAdvisor include:

“Omg what a show! Aladdin. Amazing show and cast and the team that look after the theatre are great! Hilarious and brilliant. A must for any age group in my humble opinion.” Lucy W.

“Absolutely brilliant performance by the entire pantomime actors and crew. Really funny and entertaining involving the audience more than other pantomimes I’ve been to in past years. Highly recommend great for all the family of all ages.” Sharon P.

“Christmas panto Aladdin. Very good. Loved it. We had no children in our party but everyone thought it was great. Look out for the Christmas trees they are very funny.” Hazel B.

Among the first to see the pantomime were more than 650 members of Girl Guiding and Scouting from across North Essex, who not only gave great feedback but also awarded a special Aladdin Takeover Brownie badge to theatre staff.

Mick Barry, Cabinet Member for Public Realm and Leisure at Tendring District Council, which runs the Princes Theatre, said the reviews did not come as a surprise.

“We have come to expect a fantastic performance from Anton Benson Productions and this year is no exception – as these reviews prove,” Councillor Barry said.

“The entire cast and Princes Theatre have done an amazing job and these reviews recognise all of their dedication to staging a top-class pantomime.

“So if you have not yet booked your tickets what are you waiting for? Now you don’t have to take our word for what a great show it is, buy your tickets and come and see it for yourself.”

Tickets cost £16 (£15 concessions) or £56 for a family of four, and are available from or on 01255 686633 (option 1).

Tendring Junior Ambassadors celebrate cultural diversity

Young people treaded the boards to show off what they had learned during this year’s Tendring Junior Ambassadors Project, with a vibrant showcase event at the Princes Theatre last month.

The Tendring Junior Ambassador Project, run by Tendring District Council (TDC), involved 335 Year Five and Six pupils from eight Tendring schools who took part in various cultural activity workshops this term.

The project encourages young people to learn more about the communities around them and the values of inclusiveness and diversity.

Claire Spall, Deputy Head of Cann Hall Primary School, explained how the project supported her former students to challenge discrimination.

“The project is invaluable in promoting acceptance of difference and diversity,” said Mrs Spall.

“Last year, I witnessed first-hand the impact of the work when the children were on their Year Six residential with other schools. A racist remark was made, and our children stood up to this referring to all the work they had done about accepting difference.

“This was incredibly powerful and shows how important this project is.”

The celebration event, funded by TDC and the Essex Cultural Diversity Project, saw the ambassadors demonstrate activities from Bollywood dancing to African singing, and Ukrainian themed poetry and song – with members of the invited audience of dignitaries and parents joining in.

Gina Placey, TDC Cabinet Member for Partnerships, was thrilled to witness the enthusiasm and passion displayed by all at the event.

“Tendring Junior Ambassadors gives children in Tendring the opportunity to learn about and explore the rich culturally diverse world around them,” Councillor Placey said.

“The celebration event, as always, was great fun and it was delightful seeing the smiles on the pupils’ faces as they put their new-found skills into practice.

“A huge well done to everyone involved.”

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Iconic Innovation Hub could help Harwich become beacon for the future of clean energy

An iconic multi-million-pound innovation hub should be established in Harwich to support the town’s progress to becoming a national leader in clean energy – according to a new report by sector expert Opergy Group.

Commissioned by Tendring District Council using part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation, the University of Essex and Freeport East, the report identifies Harwich as a prime location for bringing together a cluster of forward-thinking businesses and organisations involved in clean energy to drive forward economic growth in the area.

Harwich is well-established in offshore wind and has related businesses in maritime, logistics, and engineering for clean energy. The plan includes constructing a new dedicated building, estimated at over £10 million. The proposed separate Green Energy Hub at Bathside Bay and the anticipated growth in clean fuels, like green hydrogen for local transportation, create a natural opportunity for the area to benefit from these expanding sectors.

The report sets out a strategic plan to strengthen innovation and R&D activity in the area. It would culminate with development of a new dedicated building with the impact being transformational due to Harwich’s strategic position within Freeport East.

The report said: “The proposed iconic innovation hub, inspired by successful models like OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft, is viewed as pivotal to this vision. Not only would such a facility be a testament to Harwich’s commitment to innovation, but it also holds the potential to boost economic development, innovation, and employment.”

In the short-term it is proposed a “pop-up hub” is established to showcase Harwich’s potential and commitment with a dedicated team to support the development of the innovation cluster.  As well as supporting local businesses it could also attract new companies and specialised workers to base themselves in Harwich’s historic maritime centre.

Councillor Ivan Henderson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism at Tendring District Council and Freeport East Board Member, said: “The concept of an Innovation Cluster is a pioneering step for Harwich and the broader region. This cluster aims to create a vibrant ecosystem where industries, startups, researchers, and the local community converge, collaborate, and co-create. It builds on Harwich’s maritime legacy and will show how sustainable innovation can drive economic growth.

“We want local businesses and local people to support the development of these plans, share their ideas and also help us identify opportunities such as skills and workforce development.”

The recommended next steps are to establish an Innovation Taskforce with representatives from key stakeholders to lead the project. This will initially look to drive forward the concept of the pop-up innovation hub, fitting within the wider Freeport East Innovation Cluster which is already under development. As well as supporting development of a new Innovation centre in Stowmarket at the Gateway 14 site, Freeport East has also announced a new Innovation & Skills Fund which could be a first step to providing some of the funds required.

The partners plan to host an event in Harwich in early 2024 to discuss with local businesses and other partners how the plans could be progressed. To register your interest, please email

The new hub would be a focus for bringing businesses together, develop links with universities and other research bodies, and offer support services and networking opportunities.

The report suggests a series of actions, starting with supporting stronger connections between local businesses, the University, and national innovation agencies. Subsequently, the plan involves securing sustained funding to support the project in the long-term.

Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Essex, Dr Rob Singh, said: “Together, we embarked on this journey to understand Harwich’s strengths, challenges, and, most importantly, its immense potential. The resulting report is not just a strategic blueprint but a reflection of collective aspiration. It draws from the past, envisions a future anchored in innovation and clean energy, and lays down tangible steps to make that future a reality.

“The report shows the level of ambition we have for Harwich. We think the right approach will deliver sustainability, and prosperity, and make Harwich a global leader in this sector. This is the beginning of an exciting journey to realise Harwich’s renewed destiny.”

Essex County Council has also warmly welcomed the report. Lesley Wagland OBE, Councillor and also Board Member for Freeport East said: “Positioning Harwich to maximise on future growth sectors is crucial for creating jobs and inspiring aspiration for young people in our community. This report serves as a blueprint that key partners can get behind to deliver positive change for Harwich and contribute to the vital sectors of our future economy. Harwich is home to outstanding businesses, and I urge them to endorse these plans, not only for the benefit of our town but also for their own prospects.”

Steve Beel, Chief Executive at Freeport East said: “We welcome the excellent proposals in this report, which align with the broader Freeport East Innovation Cluster and the goals of the Innovation and Skills Fund we have launched. The proposed innovation hub has the potential to be transformative for the area, complementing our efforts in establishing the Green Energy Hub at Bathside Bay.

“Leveraging our ties with government departments and various central innovation agencies, we are ensuring Harwich’s capability to contribute to the UK’s clean energy ambitions is recognised. We are committed to working with our partners to advance these proposals quickly.”

The report says a development manager should be appointed as soon as possible to lead the project and outline the objectives, milestones, and key performance indicators.  They will also lead funding bids, develop the plans for the planned pop-up hub and oversee its launch.

The pop-up hub will support the formal launch of the innovation cluster. This first phase will lead to the scoping and design process for the iconic hub, which is expected to be supported by investors, grants and other sources.

Bathing Water Quality results in Tendring

Tourism is an important strand to our local economy, worth more than £1million per day, and having good water quality is a key driver to encourage people to the Essex Sunshine Coast; which is why we’re delighted all of our water sampling points are good or excellent, and why we hold four Blue Flags and six Seaside Awards.


Tendring has four Blue Flags (Brightlingsea, Dovercourt Bay, Walton and Frinton) and six seaside awards. Water quality is excellent at Dovercourt, Frinton, Holland-on-Sea and Brightlingsea and water quality is good at Walton and Clacton, Clacton Martello and Jaywick Sands.

New market begins at Sunspot in Jaywick Sands

Markets have begun at a new commercial development in Jaywick Sands.

The Sunspot – a £5.3million project made up of 24 commercial units, retail and office space, café and other facilities – opened earlier in the Autumn, but has now seen its first stallholders take up space in the covered market part of the facility, run by Tendring District Council (TDC).

Traders selling a range of goods make up the stallholders, including seafood, cakes, confectionary, glassware and home décor, metal craft and more.

Teddies, soft furnishings and clothing also feature at the market, which is held from 10am to 3pm on Wednesdays.

A special evening Christmas market, featuring a visit from Santa Claus, a choir and the turning on of the Christmas tree lights, is taking place on Friday, 8 December from 6-9pm.

Ivan Henderson, TDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, said the market was already going from strength to strength.

“There is a rich history of markets and boot sales on the site or nearby, and we wanted to make sure we captured that essence when we developed the Sunspot,” Councillor Henderson said.

“I’m pleased with the strong start the market has made – both in terms of numbers of traders and popularity with shoppers – and I am confident this will continue to grow, particularly as we come round to the warmer months and see visitors holiday in the area.”

All of the commercial units and office spaces in Sunspot have now been let, and the café is also up-and-running, making the site a must-visit part of the community.

For enquiries and to book the meeting rooms, email

The Sunspot project received £2.39million from the Government’s Getting Building Fund administered by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), with an additional £2.04million funding coming from Essex County Council (ECC), and £816,000 from Tendring District Council (TDC); which is also using part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation for operating costs.