Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town in the Tendring peninsula and district in Essex, eastern England, and was founded as an urban district in 1871. It is a seaside resort that saw a peak of tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s. The town's economy continues to rely significantly on entertainment and day-trip facilities and it is strong in the service sector, with a large retired population. The north-west part of the town has two business/industrial parks. In the wider district, agriculture and occupations connected to the Port of Harwich provide further employment. Many residents commute to work in Colchester, Witham, Chelmsford or London.
Prior to the foundation of Clacton-on-Sea the chief occupations in the area were farming and small-scale fishing. A steam-powered mill was built in 1867 to replace the local windmill, which was eventually demolished in 1918. Today the town's main industrial area is in the northeast of the town (Gorse Lane Industrial Estate and Oakwood Business Park) which contain a variety of businesses and light industrial units.
Clacton Urban District Council had provided the town with electricity since the early twentieth century from Clacton power station. Upon nationalisation of the electricity industry in 1948 ownership passed to the British Electricity Authority and later to the Central Electricity Generating Board. Electricity connections to the national grid rendered the small 2.15 megawatt (MW) internal combustion engine power station redundant. It closed in 1966; in its final year of operation it delivered 796 MWh of electricity to the town.
Clacton-on-Sea has a population of over 56,870 people.