MEMBERS of a heritage group are a step closer to fulfilling their dream of having a dedicated museum for Basildon.

The Basildon Borough Museum and Heritage Group has collated a wealth of documents, photographs, maps and memorabilia charting the history of Basildon – but has no place to store or show them off.

However the group has been promised space within the new £943,000 green visitor centre being built at Wat Tyler Park in Pitsea.

The eco-centre is being built within space formally occupied by the national motorboat museum at the park. It will also house a cafe and gallery centre.

Sue Randle, secretary of the heritage group, said: “We are hoping we will have space to exhibit out massive collection of photographs as well as other memorabilia.

“We are not sure exactly what space we will have yet at the eco centre, but we know at least we will have something.”

However, Sue and fellow history enthusiasts have been battling for years to get a dedicated museum for Basildon, even touting Great Chalvedon Hall in Pitsea as the perfect site.

She said: “At the moment, anything of value or interest found here would either end up on display in Southend or Thurrock, as both boroughs have their own museums, whereas we don’t.

“There are even historical artefacts on display in Swindon that come from Basildon!”

The group is currently showing off some of Basildon’s history in a photographic exhibition at Basildon Library.

Visitors can see more than 100 images of the town, from decades ago to the present day.

The event, set to run until mid-December, is being staged to celebrate 21 years since the library, in St Martin’s Square, was built.