Essex recently received a $10,000 grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s Mass. Downtown Initiative, which will provide technical assistance to improve a downtown resource. An expert will study the area and give recommendations of conceptual ideas for design elements (landscaping, signs, benches, etc.) that will enhance and improve the area around the town landing on Route 133. The town landing was identified as a focal point for the Essex River Cultural District, and by the Long-term Planning Committee’s Village Initiative Plan.