Saturday, February 4, 2023
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Great news as JD Wetherspoons buys The State Cinema

YEARS of intense negotiation culminated in this week’s announcement (Friday, 11 September) that JD Wetherspoon had bought the State Cinema in George Street, Grays.

Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “This is fantastic news. It’s great this deal has now been signed.

“Over the past year to 18 months we have been working closely with Wetherspoon and the State’s owners to get this agreement – and before that with the owners and other interested parties.

“Today’s announcement clearly shows there is a great deal of interest in Grays and the town centre; it proves we should all have confidence that Grays will soon be back to the bustling centre many of us remember.

“The college – with its students and staff; the Magistrates’ Court building’s transformation into a hub for new businesses opening soon; the plans for the rail crossing and land close to the river all point to an exciting and successful future.

“Now we have this latest investment to ensure the future of this iconic building at the heart of the town.”

Cllr Kent added: “Over the past year Thurrock Council has worked closely with the owners, Wetherspoon, and Morrisons to help put this deal together. There has been a great deal of work behind the scenes.

“However I really want to thank the council’s regeneration team for the many hours they have put in during some very lengthy and very delicate talks.

“There are groups locally who have shown a great passion for The State, campaigning for many years on its behalf. I want to assure them we will be working with the new owners to make sure they all get together and talk through the plans.”

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson added: “We are delighted to have acquired the former cinema in Grays.

“We have been keen to open a pub in the town for a number of years and are pleased that this is now moving in the right direction.

“Our aim is to invest £3 million in developing the former cinema into a pub, creating up to 100 new jobs.

“We believe that a Wetherspoon pub would be a great asset to the town and also result in further investment from other businesses.”

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