FAST food chain McDonalds is pulling the plug on its main Basildon base after 30 years because the store is no longer “economically viable”.

The end of the golden rainbow restaurant comes despite Basildon Council chiefs desperatley trying to improve the town centre economy as part of the £1billion masterplan.

The Town Square branch will serve up its last Big Mac on Sunday, June 30, having first opened in 1984.

Gen Isikgun, franchisee of the restaurant and four others across the borough in the Eastgate food court, Mayflower retail park, Laindon, and the Festival Leisure Park, said: “Everyone at McDonald’s is very sad that we have had to close our restaurant in the town square.

“I became the franchisee in 1996 and I would like to thank everyone who visited and made it such a vibrant family restaurant.

“Unfortunately it is now no longer economically viable to trade on this site but I will continue to invest in Basildon town centre through my Eastgate restaurant and look forward to the town being regenerated.”

It is thought that a combination of a fall in customers, a rise in business rates and a rise in rent has led to the decision although McDonalds wouln’t confirm this.

All 40 of its staff have been offered employment at one of the other four restaurants in the area.

Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, said: “McDonalds is a member of the Basildon Business Group and we are dissapointed to see it go. It is not the first fast food restaurant to go in the town and it only proves that the town centre needs a stronger night-time economy."