Leadership blog – 1 March 2024

As we enter March, cabinet member Cllr Derek Jarvis looks forward to events and cultural activities that help make our great city tick.

Cllr Derek Jarvis sitting in front of the Council coat of arms. He is wearing a navy blue suit jacket, striped shirt and blue tie.

As I am talking events and culture, firstly I wanted to say how pleased I was to see confirmation that the Jazz Centre UK has signed a lease with the council to maintain its position in the Beecroft Gallery. Retaining the Jazz Centre UK in the Beecroft Gallery, a place of national and international significance, is key to our reputation as a cultural destination and key to our visitor offer.

We have been able to get a new agreement in place with them that will enable them to remain and make an affordable contribution to the council’s costs going forward, and I want to thank officers and everyone involved for their role in making this happen. It was a key priority when we came into administration and something we have delivered quickly.

In terms of events, we have the upcoming Window Wanderland festival, running from 22 to 24 March which I hope willl illuminate windows across the city.

This festival promises to transform windows across the area into vibrant canvases adorned with captivating art, colours, and lights. Window Wanderland, a globally acclaimed project celebrated for its enchanting window displays, will be an exciting addition to Southend-on-Sea, igniting creativity amongst neighbours and the wider community.

We want the whole city to be a part of this incredible community project. For full details, some creative inspiration, and to sign-up to join this artistic movement, visit the official website.

On the same weekend we have another of our concert series events on Friday 22nd March and welcome pianist Evgeny Soifertis. Born in Kiev, he won first prize in the Beethoven Competition at the age of 13. He has given concerts in Italy, at the Flanders Festival and at many venues in the Netherlands, including the Concertgebouw. In the United Kingdom he has performed at Wigmore Hall and taken part in prestigious festivals all over the country. We are lucky to welcome him on what promises to be a great event for just £10. His programme will includes works by Chopin, Rachmaninov, Granados, Liszt. Book tickets via our website.

I hope that you can get involved. Have a good weekend.

Cllr Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage and leisure

Published: 1st March 2024

Southend-on-Sea City Council