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Grays Shopping Centre to be put 'at heart of town centre regeneration' according to latest proposals

Essex Live logo Essex Live 2 days ago Anna Willis
Grays Shopping Centre to get huge face-lift © Google Maps Grays Shopping Centre to get huge face-lift

A public consultation is underway as part of plans to revitalise Grays Shopping Centre and the whole town centre. Run by real estate investment trust NewRiver, proposals include re-invigorating the retail and leisure opportunities on offer, and boosting the night-time and leisure economy within the town.

Other plans include creating space for the local community to use, as well as encouraging independent and local businesses to set up in the town. New ideas proposed include a 5-a-side football pitch.

In the information given out during the current public consultation, NewRiver say: "There is now an opportunity to redevelop an ageing shopping centre to create a new town square, where people can meet, sit, and enjoy a greener Grays, throughout the day and into the evening."

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Around 800 new homes have been proposed, as well as around 200 parking spaces and thousands of square feet of space to be used for a variety of public and private uses. The consultation documents acknowledge that Grays town centre has been struggling more and more over the past few years.

The shopping centre was built in 1971, and is now experiencing structural failure, which will require a significant amount of work to fix. Grays town centre has also seen the shop unit vacancy rates double in the past five years, and it's expected to get worse, as 70 per cent of tenants in the shopping centre have leases due to come to an end in the next two years.

It is also forecast that 144 jobs at the Shopping Centre will be lost over the next five years if no action is taken, which, the consultation says, will result in an increase in the long-term unemployment in the surrounding area and a reduction in spending in the local economy.

The new proposals claim they will be able to turn around these growing problems in Grays. The consultation says the plans will create almost 180 additional jobs, and generate an increase of almost £9 million in local spending every year, which will then create further jobs in the town.

The public consultation is continuing until June 30, and feedback can be sent to: Freepost, RUEC-LGSX-ZCLK, 49 Greencoat Place, London, SW1P 1DS or via email on futuregrays@nrr.co.uk.

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