Thurrock Council defend plans to spash £7 million on new offices

Thurrock Council Offices

Transformation of the Civic Offices

CONSERVATIVE members of Cabinet approved work to fully develop an impressive £7m refurbishment project to the Grays Civic Offices to enable a better ‘front door’ for residents as part of the upcoming regeneration work taking place in Grays Town Centre.

The transformation of the Civic Offices has been identified as a priority project since 2013 when internal changes started to take place and funding was identified at the time for major changes to the public areas on the ground floor – including the reception space.

Although the renovations and building are anticipated to cost around £7m, with the previously allocated budget of £4.8m and the expected income of £2.8m means that if the project was to go ahead, there would only need to be additional funding of £380k.

Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Cllr Mark Coxshall presented the report and explained: “With the announced foot crossing being built to connect the north and south of the town – along with the other aspirations that the Grays Master plan will bring – ensuring that Grays stays at the heart of Thurrock by having a Civic Offices that is a fit for purpose, modern and a useful building to the public is key.”

Cllr Coxshall added: “I’m pleased cabinet tonight agreed to the next stage of the project and getting detailed designs for the extension including a new entrance and to start preparing plans for the redevelopment for part of the site.

“All of the plans will of course reflect the exciting ambitions of the wider Grays Master plan – but importantly, will be designed for function for our residents intending to create a useful civic centre for people working with the Council.

“There has been mis-guided discussion about these plans, in particular the cost – but I should be clear, much of this money has been set aside as capital expenditure for a number of years and not used. We need a front door for investors, businesses and our residents that we can all be proud of and one that says we are modern and ready for the 21st century. Our current space looks tired, disheartening and practically it doesn’t work for our wider ambitions for Grays.”

To learn more about the growth agenda in Thurrock, visit: thurrock.gov.uk/growth

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