Grays is one step closer to securing up to £25million of government funding to accelerate the regeneration of the town by reconnecting it with the river, improving the station gateway, and creating a brand new beach destination and maritime activity centre.
Grays Towns Fund Board submitted once-in-a-lifetime plans to transform the town into the leisure heart of Thurrock, making Grays a healthier and more attractive place to live, work, learn and play.
If funding is secured a brand new beach destination will open up the riverside, providing a new active space for local residents and visitors to enjoy, that will complement a riverfront activity centre. The dedicated centre will provide activities such as canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding, embracing the town's maritime identity and celebrating its rich heritage. Improvements to the station gateway will create a welcoming space that is better placed to support the local economy.
Chair of Grays Towns Board and Director of Development at NewRiver REIT, Justin Thomas, said: "The Towns Fund project proposals will reconnect the town centre with its riverside heritage, enhance the riverside experience and create lasting social and economic impact for Grays, its residents, businesses and visitors. This plan will position Grays to fulfil its potential and become the desirable town centre destination that it deserves to be."
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "The projects proposed in this plan will accelerate the transformation that is already happening in Grays including the expansion of South Essex College and the railway underpass. Collectively these projects will deliver game-changing regeneration across the whole town, future-proofing the economy and creating a leisure destination for the whole of Thurrock to enjoy."
Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Vice-Chair of the Board, said: “This bid will see Grays embrace the Thames in pursuit of the well-being of the entire community. These plans will provide much-needed enhancements to the environment and public realm, giving Grays the boost that it has needed for some time, and thanks to the Town Fund, I look forward to playing my part in making this vision a reality.”
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The projects proposed will transform Grays and open the riverside to fantastic leisure opportunities instead of a concrete wall. Plans to deliver a new jetty will connect Thurrock with Kent, London and beyond.
"There will be a beach; a riverside activity centre and an updated Grays Beach Riverside Park with outside entertainment space. These projects will deliver great opportunities for residents of all ages, as well as a new leisure destination for Grays, Thurrock, and visitors to enjoy."
To find out more about the proposed plans visit the Grays Towns Fund Board website, where you can also provide feedback to help shape further plans graystownsfund.co.uk