WORLD champions Max Whitlock and Stuart Bingham will be granted the freedom of Basildon in recognition of their sporting achievements.

The duo have both been nominated for honorary freeman status, which is expected to be formally approved at a Basildon Council meeting next week.

Deputy mayor Danny Lawrence, who nominated both snooker champion Stuart and medal-winning gymnast Max, believes they are both great ambassadors for the borough.

Max, 23, who trains with the South Essex Gymnastics Club at Basildon Sporting Village, won gold in the pommel horse category at October’s World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.

Stuart, 39, from Vange, fulfilled his lifelong dream last May when he beat Shaun Murphy 18-15 in the World Snooker Championship final.

The council’s constitution states freedom of the borough is “a high honour which should only be awarded in exceptional circumstances where the prospective recipient is an individual or organisation of distinction and has rendered eminent services to the borough”.

Recipients of the honour are welcome to attend civic receptions and functions which are attended by council members.

Mr Lawrence said: “At the 2015 championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Max became the first British man ever to win a World Championship gold medal.

“He trains in Basildon and now resides here. He is a great ambassador for the borough, and he is only 23 years of age.

“Stuart lives in Basildon and is currently the world snooker champion.

“At the age of 35, he won the first ranking title of his career, he claimed his second ranking title at the age of 38 and followed this with his first World Championship in 2015.

“He is another great ambassador for Basildon.”

To date, the only recipient has been the Royal Anglian Regiment in April 2011.

If councillors approve the sporting pair’s nominations, they will be officially recognised at a special ceremony.