THERE’S an exciting future for Grays, top councillors were told on Wednesday (10 July) evening.
Members of Thurrock Council’s cabinet were discussing plans for the town’s regeneration following a major consultation exercise there.
Cllr Andy Smith, portfolio holder for regeneration, told the meeting that more than 1,500 people had taken part and helped put together a “really good vision” building on the new college and courthouse proposals at either end of the High Street.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “It’s clear to me that residents want to ensure the future of this iconic building – the subject of a separate and private item on the agenda – as well as working with Network Rail and others on improving the rail crossing, and looking what we can do with Hogg Lane site.
He said: “We have spoken to all the health providers and none are interested in using it. We want to make it something useful and will be working hard to make sure it becomes a valued part of the town.”
Council Leader, Cllr John Kent added: “With the campus and its students arriving next September, along with the agreed plans for the Magistrates’ Court, around £50 million of public money is being spent in the town.
“I do not know of many other areas with that sort of investment.”
He added: “We have to harness the desire to make more of Grays, the consultation has proved it’s held in great affection by local people.
“We must make sure we make best use of it.”
Cllr Smith concluded: “It’s very exciting, Grays is on the up now. It’s got the students coming and we need shops that will serve the students, but we’ve got to get in quick as students will be coming in their thousands in the next 13 to 14 months.
“We need everybody to talk up the town and tell people there are lots of opportunities for new shops and new businesses to make money here.”