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Basildon town guide

In the 1940s Basildon was little more than a small village near the site of the Holy Cross Church.

The town was created in 1949, following the New Town Act of 1946. These new towns came about mainly due to a need for new housing brought about by London's long waiting lists following the second world war and damage inflicted on inner London's suburban houses.

The Gateway to the Northern Thames Region, Basildon District hosts some thriving businesses such as Ford's 4bn Dunton Research Centre, the UK's largest motor vehicle research centre with 5000 highly skilled engineers and designers. Other world-class organisations have chosen to locate in Basildon, including New Holland and First Data Resources.

In the twentieth Century some of the world's fastest and most revolutionary motorboats were designed and built in the UK. The Motorboat Museum, situated in the beautiful Wat Tyler Country Park is home to the best of these extraordinary machines. At the museum you can trace the history of these fascinating craft from the days of the early steam launches up to the latest offshore pwerboats.

Just 10 miles to the east of Basildon and easily reached by hire car, is Southend-On-Sea with its world famous pier and multitude of visitor attractions, thrilling adventure rides and spectacular events. Ten miles to the west is Lakeside, one of the largest shopping areas in Europe. The nearby River Crouch is a popular sailing centre.

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