A POLICE station and derelict bingo hall are on the shopping list as Basildon Council looks to help revitalise five town centres.

The council is considering buying Wickford Police Station and compulsorily purchasing Pitsea Bingo Hall to improve facilities in the town as part of a number of measures also designed to help Basildon, Laindon and Billericay.

The station in London Road is available for sale and while the estimated purchase price has not been published it was previously estimated to be £750,000.

Basildon Council leader Gavin Callaghan, speaking at a meeting of the town centre revival committee this week, said: “I have met with the police and crime commissioner and will be inviting him and his chief executive to talk about the site and other sites the force is looking to dispose of.

“I think this is the third or fourth time we have put in an offer for the site.”

The owners of the bingo hall are expected to be issued an order to clean up the site by the council before any forced buyout is considered in more detail by the council.

Experts will also be drafted in by the council to run a £300,000 project to improve public spaces around the Laindon Centre, as part of the rebuild project which includes 86 homes, 138 flats and a new shopping parade.

And Billericay could become the next business improvement district in Essex.

Mr Callaghan said: “We could look into if it would work in Billericay.

“I think it would be a good place to pilot the scheme.”

In Basildon work is progressing on the £25million redevelopment including a ten screen cinema and restaurant project with demolition starting last month.

Construction of the new £30m South Essex College digital technology campus in Market Square, Basildon is also on track.

And the council is looking to make a fresh bid for part of a £1billion Government funding pot for High Street.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Callaghan said: “We are committed to the regeneration of Wickford Town Centre.

“The bid to acquire the former Wickford police station supports this commitment .

“We are determined to regenerate all of our town centres.

“That’s why we set up a specific committee to focus on this and we are moving at speed to deliver change to our high streets and town centres.”