FOLLOWING planning committee decision to approve plans for the redevelopment of Thurrock Council’s civic offices work will now progress on bringing these exciting plans to life.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Receiving planning permission for the civic offices extension is an important step in progressing the wider regeneration of Grays town centre, setting the scene for future development and invigorating the High Street.
“The plans to extend our civic offices will enhance the customer experience and improve the high street. Building this new extension will cost less overall than fully refurbishing the existing offices, as previously planned. Additionally it means that we can build 80 new homes on a brownfield site rather than in the greenbelt.
“The civic offices development will feature new and enhanced public spaces including meeting rooms which the community can use, a new café and outdoor seating area open to the public and a new registrar’s garden for ceremonial use.
“Now that the extension has received planning permission, this exciting scheme can be progressed at pace.”
Grays Town Centre is set to be transformed with redevelopment stretching from the Thameside Theatre to the very heart of the town. With £200m in investment already secured including an underpass at Grays Station, which has received £11million funding from the government through the Local Growth Fund. In addition, private investment is set to transform the State Cinema site and create a revitalised shopping centre, which owners NewRiver say could include a gym, a hotel and food retailer.
Grays will receive up to £25 million from the government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund. It has also been named one of the additional 50 towns successful in the first round bids for the government’s Future High Street Fund and will receive funding to develop a detailed business plan to bid for a share of £1billion government funding, which can be used to invest in new infrastructure to revitalise Grays High Street, attracting businesses, shoppers and homes to the town.