Grays has been named as one of 50 additional towns which have been successful in the first round of bids for the government’s Future High Street Fund.
It means that Thurrock Council 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.
The next stage of the bid will decide which of the 100 towns will go on to receive a share of the funding which can be used to invest in the town centre.
Thurrock Council has already unveiled ambitious plans for Grays Town Centre, stretching from the Thameside Theatre to the very heart of the town. This includes 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.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Grays is an important town centre which has a key role in the borough’s economy and it's good news that the government has recognised the opportunities which exist in Grays. Now we will bid for a share of the £1billion capital funding.
"There is already £200million investment planned for the wider regeneration of Grays, which includes proposals for a new underpass at Grays Railway Station, new and enhanced public spaces in the town centre, a new shopping centre and new housing.
"I would like to thank our MP, Jackie Doyle Price for the help she has given in securing this government funding and all the local partners who have supported us in this bid."