THE LEADER of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, has met with leaseholders operating businesses near the Civic Offices to talk to them about controversial plans for Grays Town Centre.
The leader met with Sadik Alakirik, owner of the Angel Cafe in New Road, who recently launched a petition in a bid to stop the council demolishing his popular cafe.
Plans for the town centre include projects stretching from the Thameside Theatre to the very heart of town including an underpass at Grays Station, which has received £11 million funding from the Government through the Local Growth Fund, new Civic Offices and new housing to be built on part of the current civic offices site in New Road Grays along with private investment which will transform the State Cinema site and create a revitalised shopping centre which owners NewRiver say could include a gym, a hotel and food retailer.
The redevelopment of the Civic Offices will also deliver dozens of new homes in the centre of Grays.
Thurrock Council has now purchased the freehold of four properties in New Road Grays and the High Street in preparation for the planned regeneration.
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “I was happy to meet with the leaseholders affected by the Grays Town Centre regeneration and highlight the opportunities our exciting plans will make for them.
“We will be working hard to ensure that all these business will remain open throughout this process and I would encourage local residents to continue to make use of these excellent local shops and café while relocation takes place.
“We are a council which is here to help businesses, especially highly valued small local traders like these, so I wanted to make sure that the leaseholders who operate these establishments know we are available and will make sure that they will get all the assistance they need when it comes to time to relocate.
“Our ambitious regeneration plans will set a tone for the future high quality development of Grays Town Centre, invigorate the High Street and encourage more people to use our small businesses. We want local business to be at the heart of these plans.
“The name Mulberry will live on as part of the new Civic Offices. The development will include new and enhanced green spaces and public areas.”