This year, Harlow is turning 70 whilst our fantastic The Harvey Centre is celebrating its 35th Birthday.
Though a large town, we have the community spirit of a village. Everyone knows each other and we pull together, both when it is needed and when it is not. We are entrepreneurial, hard-working, family focused – normal people that don’t make newspaper headlines but just want to make our town and the world a better place.
The Harvey Centre marks the geographical and social centre of our town as the place for shopping, eating and entertainment.
My family owned the John Walton clothes shop in our town centre from the 50s to the 80s, where the Citizens Advice Bureau has now found its home. I moved to Harlow myself in 1999 and I have never felt more at home anywhere else. During my time here, it has been wonderful to watch The Harvey Centre grow and transform.
Over these many years, I have spent a lot of time there opening businesses like Vision Express and Creams Cafe, holding constituency surgeries in Rose Opticians and just enjoying some rare free time for a coffee and some shopping on Saturday morning when I’m lucky!
It’s really wonderful to see The Harvey Centre’s most recent updates. Starbucks’ shiny new shop front is only the beginning of the transformation of Broadwalk and the impressive new Cineworld is the start of a fantastic new evening economy for our town centre too. It is being accompanied by a growing number of restaurants and attracting many more families and friends into Harlow for the evening.
Harlow has such an exciting future, not just for The Harvey Centre but for the whole town. I have been working hard as MP to secure as much Government funding for our town as possible and I’m excited for everything we have achieved in recent years and how much we still have to look forward to.
Just last month, I was honoured to open Harlow College‘s fantastic new Advanced Manufacturing Centre, built with £2.8M Government investment to provide students with high-quality skills and apprenticeships. We’ve also seen the development of an Enterprise Zone which has seen a constant flow of business, jobs and apprenticeships coming back to our town and still continues to grow.
When Harlow was built 70 years ago, it transformed the lives of thousands of people. We are a place of aspiration, opportunity and achievement. Now, as we celebrate the anniversary of our town, we have the potential to do the same again. The Harvey Centre is helping to transform our town centre and there is much more still to come. This is Harlow’s renaissance.
Robert Halfon MP
Working hard for Harlow, Hastingwood, Matching, Nazeing, Roydon and Sheering
Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills