Wednesday, February 8, 2023

South Essex College investing in Thurrock’s future

A new image of the new Thurrock Campus of South Essex College has been released to give a greater idea of how the proposed £45 million new build might look.

John Hayles, Acting Principal and Chief Executive of South Essex College, said: “We believe that with a new town centre College learners will be able to pursue their ambitions to be successful in exactly the kind of top-quality learning environment the people of Thurrock and Grays deserve.”

He added: “research shows that high quality learning environments lead to better learning and improved performance. Our development of a new College building is an investment in the future of individual learners and in the future economic prosperity of Thurrock.”

With parts open to the public this exciting new proposed facility will both meet the needs of study in the 21st Century, something lacking in the current location, and more importantly will help meet local employment needs. This is an investment in the future of Thurrock that has been needed for a long time.

There has been lots in the news recently about the increase in youth unemployment and those not in education or employment (NEETs).New education buildings have been recognised as being inspirational, have better attendance and success rates, better access and up to date resources. This is the vision for the new Thurrock Campus.

If planning permission is granted, the project will be paid for by a combination of a bank loan to the College and the sale of the current site at Woodview, which will see 100% of finance raised by that sale invested back into the ambitious new College building. This is planned to be open to new students in September 2014 and become the beating heart of Grays town centre.


The image of the proposed new Thurrock Campus has been released ahead of a meeting of councillors and follows a series of meetings between the developers of the proposed housing scheme to be built on the current Woodview site, Persimmon Homes, and local residents.

Persimmon Homes offered one to one residents meetings, which some local residents opposed to the proposed housing did attend and these meetings were very constructive. There have been a number of measures which
Persimmon Homes have agreed to review with the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation relating to the boundary of the site.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This proposed move is no investment into Thurrock’s future, It’s just another attempt to make some money and destroy yet another green and pleasant part of Thurrock with the building of 360 plus homes on the site in Woodview.

    There is already a perfectly viable educational hub as it stands with the Tec and Palmers college is close proximity to each other, with ample car parking spaces and some pleasant green surroundings for students to enjoy. Something that will be sadly lacking in the new proposed version in Grays. A little bit of inventive, visionary planning and a fraction of the £45 million spend would regenerate the present site adequately.

    No local residents in their wildest dreams would subscribe to the view that a new college in the area would somehow breathe life into Grays town Centre. The students will be swapping their present spacious surroundings for a brand new builing with little or no green spaces to enjoy their free time which would instead be spent traipsing round the soulless place that Grays town centre ghas sadly become…..I for one am struggling to see where the inspiration to absorb all this top quality learning will come from.

    Here’s an idea, spend a bit more on ispirational teachers, and regenerating the present site and you might just find the winning formula and spare your students the joys of Grays town centre at lunch time.

  2. When you (SE College) going to realise that new buildings do not make any difference to educational outcomes. What is needed is appropriate courses, taught by capable teachers and a principal with vision.

    In the current financial climate is foolhardy to take on extra lending when it can be avoided and this proposed development in Grays is a complete waste of time and money. Instead the college at Woodview should be upgraded if it actually needs it (which is arguable) at a fraction of the cost.

    The only people to profit from this will be the developers.

    The TTGDC and the Local Council are flouting planning guidelines when they use as their “very special circumstances” for developing green belt land, the fact that a college is required in Grays which needs to be financed by the sale of that land. It is not necessary to move the college to Grays and in fact it is highly undesirable.

    They need to be held to account over their proposed destruction of green belt land which is being pushed forward under the guise of improving education in the borough. There are no sound arguments in favour of these plans only arbitrary opinions and if the building of houses is the prime driver, there are plenty of brownfield sites elsewhere.

    Shirley Harley

  3. Trying to promote the idea that relocating the college in Grays will rejuvenate the Town is a pipe dream. No thought other than the financial gain seems to have gone into these plans. There are no parking provisions for students who will have to use and pay for the existing parking spaces in Grays and no recreational facilities for students to use in between lessons are to be provided on site.
    The fact that this also means that 362 flats and houses will be built on greenbelt is also saddening. Local residents were not consulted on the plans prior to the application going in and the ‘constructive’ meetings cited in this article is a farce. They were lip service meetings designed to somehow make up for the fact that no consultation happened with us. The meeting I went to was far from constructive, just a presentation of a plan showing a road and the side of a new house being located within one foot of my back garden.. Furthermore it has been acknowledged that this build will mean that children in the area will not be able to find places at their local schools and will have to travel elsewhere, who knows where, to get their education.
    Yes this new college will really rejuvenate Grays, we will gain a shiny new building at the expensive of school children not having school places, residents not having a local doctor and roads in Grays and Woodview turned into gridlock zones – well done planners!

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