Grays is Thurrock's main administrative
centre and one of the six major locations for regeneration in the borough being transformed through new investment.
The Grays Town Centre 'framework refresh' builds on what has already been achieved and progresses other key priorities, including a new £27 million rail crossing with more than £10 million funding coming from central government through the Local Growth Fund.
Developments in Grays have included the opening of South Essex College and The Old Courthouse Business Centre in the former Magistrates Court, as well as the formation of the Grays Town Partnership which is promoting the town centre through 'Love Grays'.
The plans will support the vision for the area, including spaces for local businesses to grow, making it easier to travel, cycle and walk around the town centre and making the most of the riverfront.
Building on its strengths as a chartered market town, the aim for Grays is a high quality destination, in which people are able to live, work, learn, shop and socialise.
Reconnected to the River Thames, Grays will support growing resident, student and business communities throughout the day and entertain a diverse and vibrant population through the evening.
Cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and markets will combine with culture, entertainment and events to provide a safe and attractive place for communities to meet and businesses to thrive.
The London Fenchurch Street to Tilbury and Shoeburyness C2C railway line cuts through Grays town centre, with a level crossing in the high street which must be frequently closed to allow trains to pass.
Thurrock is working with Network Rail and c2c on plans to replace the level crossing with a new high quality pedestrian underpass. The project secured £10.8 million from the government's Local Growth Fund and the council is progressing the plans. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2022.
As part of the wider regeneration of Grays town centre, approval has also been given for the refurbishment of the Civic Offices, which the council believes demonstrates its commitment to Grays.
These plans will reflect the exciting ambitions of the wider Grays masterplan and will be designed with residents in mind, as well as creating a front door for investors and businesses.