The Historic Town of Chelmsford is a Great Place to Live and Work
Since achieving city status in 2012, Chelmsford’s profile has risen beyond a convenient commuter-belt town, to a thriving hub in its own right.
Chelmsford has seen a lot of change over the past 50 years. In the 20th century, it was famous for its pioneering manufacturers, such as Marconi, Hoffmans and Britvic. One by one, these have either closed down or moved away, and as we entered the new millennium, many locals feared that the Chelmsford they knew and loved had gone into terminal decline.
Yet today, 25 years after Marconi closed its doors for the last time, Chelmsford is thriving like never before. One top Chelmsford recruitment agency has never been busier, as the city has established itself as one of the best places to live and work in the 21st century.
Anyone with an interest in comedy will remember Chelmsford 123, the TV series that ran in the late 1980s. Set in 123 AD during the Roman occupation, the setting was far from being a random choice, as the ruins of the old Roman town of Caesaromagus lie beneath present-day Moulsham Street and the Odeon roundabout.
The name Chelmsford first appeared in the late 12th century, and its convenient position on the main road from Colchester to London (today known as the A12) guaranteed its prosperity as an important coaching town.
In 1899, Guglielmo Marconi opened his famous wireless radio factory just off Moulsham Street. The success of the business soon outgrew these modest premises, leading to construction of a purpose built factory on New Street in 1920. Today, the factory has been redeveloped for mixed residential use, but the legacy of Marconi will never be forgotten, and every visitor to the city is reminded on signs that Chelmsford will always be the “birthplace of radio.”
Working in Chelmsford
Its convenient location, which made Chelmsford so important 1000 years ago, is just as relevant today. The city’s proximity to London, while being central within the county of Essex, make it a crucial administrative and distribution centre.
Since becoming a city in 2012, the service sector has become an increasingly significant employer in Chelmsford, with a growing number of insurance and financial service companies moving in, including M&G and the Anderson Group.
The City has also recently launched Bond Street, its newest shopping centre. In addition to its flagship John Lewis department store, it has around 20 other retail outlets, bringing hundreds more employment opportunities.
Although Marconi and Hoffman are long gone, one reminder of Chelmsford’s proud manufacturing history remains, in the shape of E2V. This is the company that started out as the English Electric Valve Company, and this year it will celebrate 70 years as one of Chelmsford’s most prominent employers.
Living in Chelmsford
In 2007, the Channel 4 programme “Location, Location, Location” voted Chelmsford as the 8th best place to live in the UK. Property prices are strong, but bargains can be had in surrounding towns such as Witham and Braintree, which are only minutes away by train.
Chelmsford has always been famous for its vibrant nightlife and leisure scene, with a variety of pubs, bars and restaurants in the Duke Street, High Street and Moulsham Street areas.
To live and to work, Chelmsford has so much going for it, there can be no doubt it will be just as popular in another 1000 years’ time!