Stanford-le-Hope is a small Essex town that is situated some 20 miles east of central London. Famous for being home to the writer Joseph Conrad, the town has strong transport links by rail and by road, thanks to the A13. Stanford, as it is known locally, is a commuter town but it also boasts a strong economy, largely thanks to Shall Haven oil refinery. Although work has now stopped at the plant, it is now in the process of being transformed into a DP World deep sea port as well as a major business park. When completed the 1,500 acre site will be Europe's largest logistics park and create almost 12,000 jobs, with some 24 quay cranes in operation at what will be the UK's first 21st century deep-see container port. The retail sector is also a major source of employment in the region, with the vast and extremely popular Lakeside Shopping Centre only a few miles away. Many leading names from the retail world have large outlets here and recruitment agencies are likely to be looking to place staff in employment here. Unemployment has risen in recent years and at 4.4% is slightly above the national average. The average weekly wage in the area is, however, above the national rate at £537.10.
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