A £740,000 centre is set to be created to help the growing number of north Essex domestic abuse victims.

The centre, serving people in Colchester, Tendring, Braintree and Uttlesford, will be one of three created by Essex County Council in a bid to provide a “one front door” service.

It will operate from next spring for at least five years after a contract is awarded.

Each hub will provide accommodation, independent domestic violence advisors and outreach services.

In addition there will be a single point of access for victims to contact and which will provide information and operate as a ‘triage’ service.

A report to the council’s cabinet says the proposals, totalling £2.1million, will “ensure there is one front door into all domestic abuse provision; making sure people of Essex are aware of where and how to access the right information at the right time to stay safe.”

It adds existing services have recently experienced “significant” growth in demand, putting them under strain at busy times of the year.

Domestic abuse reporting tends to increase during or after holiday periods.

Grant funded services which include for example the ‘National Stalking Support Services will continue as these will complement the newly commissioned service.

Across Essex an estimated 66,000 adults are affected by domestic abuse annually but the majority of domestic abuse victims are not known to public services.

Last year Essex Police recorded more than 33,000 domestic abuse incidents.

Other hubs will serve south Essex and mid-west Essex.

Essex County Council’s cabinet is set to recommend the proposals at County Hall next Tuesday.

The council and the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner currently both commission domestic abuse support services with contracts due to end next March.

These provide refuges, other places of safety, outreach and building resilience services.

They also offer Independent domestic violence who serve as a victim’s primary point of contact with public services and devise safety plans.

The new arrangement would replace this and would cover the council’s area as well as Southend and Thurrock councils’ areas.

Up to four different contracts could be awarded for each of the hubs and the triage service with the funding coming from the council and the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.

The contracts are due to be awarded this September.