COUNCIL bosses are set to form a working group which will be tasked with coming up with ideas to bring investment and jobs to all of Canvey.

Castle Point Council’s cabinet is set to approve the formation of the group to devise plans to attract more big investors to Canvey seafront, the town centre, and the Paddocks community hall.

The working group would consist of six Tory and Canvey Island Independent councillors, and meet every other week to create and present ideas to the council on how to attract bigger investors to spend cash on the island and its assets.

The move comes after the council secured a £1.52 million grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund in March to support a masterplan for the seafront which will see a new pavilion with a viewing area, a new retail kiosk, increased car parking and an improved walkway to connect Thorney Bay with Canvey.

Last month, Castle Point Council also bought the Knightswick Shopping Centre for £11 million, and agreed to put £1.5 million into regenerating the town centre.

However, while the island may be receiving huge investment in the short term, council officers fear without a group working on a long term plan, no big firms will want to spend money on the island in the future.

In a report set to go before cabinet next week, published last night, it states: “At present the scope is limited but it is clear from the council’s advisors, that without a clear long term vision and structure to investment in the area, it is not possible for new investment to be attracted.

“A plan will enable the council to better market the vision, provide a focus to attract the right mix of uses and support funding applications for grant funding.”

The Paddocks is set to be demolished and replaced on the island, with the aim of developing the new centre on the car park and then destroying the existing building once completed.

At present, there is no concrete plan on what the new centre will look like, and the group will work out the size and designs of the new facility and how much funding will be available to complete the work as part of a business case.

In July, the council advertised for a specialist external company to map out designs for a new centre, offering between £10,000 and £25,000, which was described as a “time waster” by some councillors. If formed, the group will meet in October.