Grey Grays? Not a bit of it as change is set to bring change to riverside town

Grays from the air... (pic Google Earth)

Our county is renowned for its glorious countryside and wonderful quality of life, which is why we at CPRE Essex do all we can to protect it, but perhaps not everywhere within our borders is quite so uplifting.
Thurrock, for example, took the wholly dubious honour of finishing bottom of 2012’s Office of National Statistics report into personal well-being, with an average life satisfaction rating of 7.09.
Or, to put it another way, it was the most miserable place in the country.
The Independent promptly quoted Fred, a 62-year-old taxi-driver thus: “It’s one big cesspit here. I don’t live here because I want to; I live here because I have to.”
Happily, however, Fred, should he still be living in the borough, could be about to see big changes in the place he so maligned, which, incidentally, has already seen its average life satisfaction soar to 7.5.
Those figures don’t mean anything to most of us, but what we all would recognise is the change that could be coming to Grays, capital of Thurrock.
Grays Shopping Centre was sold in 2018 for a reported £20.2 million and now new owner NewRiver has teamed up with the local authority to hear how residents would like to see it evolve.
Excitingly, a cinema, a hotel, restaurants and cafés have all been mooted as additions to the Grays scene, but what else would you like to happen in the hub of this riverside town?
A consultation is expected at the end of next month – we’ll be sure to keep you posted!