Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Basildon to have booming nighttime economy in five years under plans
BASILDON could finally have its long awaited booming, nighttime economy with a cinema, restaurants, bars and cafes built in the town centre within the next five years.
Polticians and residents have long said the town is deserted at nightfall, with revellers venturing to the Festival Leisure Park or other towns to visit restaurants, cinemas and nightspots.
But the Echo can reveal plans to make the town centre an attractive venue to socialise in the evening, are a step closer to reality as councillors prepare to sign off the £1billion Basildon Masterplan at a meeting of the cabinet next week.
And, for the first time, the Echo can reveal the timetable to transform the face of the town forever.
By 2017 - once the plans have been rubberstamped and formal planning applications have been submitted and approved - the town centre will have a new eight to 12 screen cinema, restaurants, bars and cafes to create a nighttime economy.
The plans will also see the current market move to St Martin’s Square while the existing South Essex College in Nethermayne would move to the market’s current site.
Between 2018 and 2022 the town is also expected to have a hotel, behind the planned cinema, more restaurants and an improved bus station.
The £1billion plans - first dreamt up in 2008 - are being financed by developers Barratt Wilson Bowden (BWB).
Malcolm Buckley, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are undertaking one of the biggest town centre redevelopments in the country and the fact that we have got to this stage is a real testament to not only the hard work of the council and its partners but the very real opportunities that Basildon offers as an area to invest in and the opportunities the town offers.
“Whilst other town centre redevelopments have fallen foul of the economic climate in recent years, BWB and the council have maintained enough flexibility in its plans to ensure we have weathered the storm and how have a really ambitious, but realistic and commercially viable scheme that will transform the town.”
Under the revised masterplan Trafford House in Station Way, Basildon - which has stood empty for a decade - will also be redeveloped.
Comments are closed on this article.