From it's inception, until about 1989, Access was processed and serviced primarily out of Southend-on-Sea. There were many buildings around the town which housed Access offices, with the main production location being the old Ekco buildings in Priory Crescent. The original Ecko factory had been constructed by 1930, and it was this building which for Access eventually comprised the Priory canteen, mainframe room, embossing suite etc. By 1940, the brick and stone building fronting onto Priory Crescent had been built, and the site was in use by Ekco until 1966. Prior to takeover by Access, it was just two storeys high, apart from the central area. Once Access took it on, it was raised to three stories throughout.
The unfortunately rather poor quality videos below will without a doubt be a trip down Memory Lane for many staff of the Southend site - for the sounds, if not for the visuals!
Thanks to Google Earth, we are able to see how the site developed/disintegrated from 1999 onwards.
Essentially this site comprised the main centralised Access headquarters. In the 1980s, the name 'Access House' was carved above the main entrance, however, this was later changed simply to 'Offices'. Many of the buildings on this site formed part of the famous Ekco headquarters, though the leaded top storey was an addition for Access.
As of 2016, the previous site of Access & other industrial units is being redeveloped into a housing estate, called Ekco Park, by Bellway Homes. The development is to consist of 1 & 2 bedroom apartments; 2, 3 & 4 bedroom houses; a future hospice development; a future commercial development.
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