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Thurrock Council planning to dispose of Thameside Complex in Grays

Plans have already been approved to relocate the Register Office in the Thameside Complex (Credit: Thurrock Council)

Thurrock Council is expected to declare the Thameside Complex in Grays is a “surplus asset” at a cabinet meeting next week. 

The local authority is planning to dispose of several “under-used” properties and pieces of land in an attempt to make savings. 

It has already marked 14 locations for immediate release, including the Riverside Youth Centre, Thurrock Adult Community College and Chadwell Clinic. 

Council documents suggest many of those areas will be used for housing instead. 

The Thameside Complex is home to a theatre, library and museum and has supported many local community groups over the years. 

Although it is not marked for immediate release, council officers have recommended it be declared as surplus. 

The building reportedly costs the council more than half a million pounds to run and fully repairing it could cost up to £16 million. 

Plans to relocate the Register Office to the new Civic Office extension have already been approved and it is thought the library could be relocated there as well. 

More than 1,500 people have already signed a petition calling for the Thameside Complex to be saved. 

“It would be a terrible shame to not only lose all of the arts and culture located in this building, but to lose a vital piece of local history,” read a statement from the petition. 

“As we come out of the pandemic, people need things to bring them joy, need to be able to laugh and smile, and have things to look forward too and the Thameside Complex can bring this to the community.” 

The leader of the Labour Group in Thurrock, Cllr John Kent, has also spoken out against the plans. 

He said: “The first performance at the Thameside Theatre was in October 1971.

“We should be getting ready to celebrate it’s Golden Jubilee – not closing it down.

“That Thurrock Tories can find £10 million for new council offices but nothing for the Thameside says much about their priorities.”

If you would like to sign the petition, you can do so online here

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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