Since 2010, Jaywick, located between St Osyth and Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, has been declared the most deprived area in the UK. This comes due to a multitude of factors, spanning across drug problems and high crime rates. But in recent years, efforts have been made to spruce up the coastal town, bringing back a modernised and unique hue to the former holiday get-away.

A new project- Jaywick Sands- aims to play an essential role in returning the town to its former excellence. The project, which is proposed to cost £4.4 million and is being funded by Essex County Council, the Getting Build Fund and Tendring District council, aims to install an entourage of modern developments. Within the project are plans to build 24 affordable business units, a market area, cafe, public toilets and community garden, all within metres of Jaywick’s boardwalk.

It is hoped that through this project, increased numbers of people will be attracted towards the sea-side town, bringing back trade and greater wealth to the place. This will potentially improve the wellbeing of its residents, making life easier and happier.

However, is this enough?

Through conversation with Jaywick resident, Mr Ayan Patel, who has lived in the area for 6 years, a question of doubt was created. Mr Patel fears that the “vastly underprivileged” town will not be helped enough by these projects, revealing that although he is aware of them, he’s concerned that so far “they’ve never done anything,” to help the community. 

This enormous investment of money also plans to introduce over 100 flood resilient homes into the area, helping with the poor housing crisis currently at play. When they were first constructed, a large percentage of the houses within Jaywick were built as Holiday-Homes, their infrastructures weak. This has led to the current problem of many houses lacking suitability and safety for families, which the project aims to help.

Additional reforms, such as the introduction of a Cycling Scheme, aim to assist in the reformation of Jaywick further. £2.3 million has been directed from the GBT alongside £100,000 from Sport England Local Delivery to offer bikes for hire cheaply. So far, 200,000 bikes have been given to Essex County Council for this purpose, and it is hoped that it will help to make transport between Jaywick and neighbouring Clacton-on-Sea more accessible and affordable.

Overall, if these projected plans all succeed, Jaywick may experience a boost in infrastructure gains. More and more contributors may be drawn to the area and, who knows, maybe Jaywick won’t be the UK’s infamous most deprived town much longer?