A COLLEGE boss told how he is looking forward to South Essex College’s new campus, in the heart of Grays, rejuvenating the economy.

Residents turned out to in force to an event organised by the college called ‘The futures bright, the futures Grays’.

The event displayed futuristic images of the new buildings, to be opened in September 2014, and gave people the chance to quiz Anthony McGarel, Deputy Chief Executive, and Carol Anson-Higgs, College Vice-Principal, about its local impact and what the college will offer students.

Mr McGarel said: “This new college is all about location, location, location. The 2,000 person college will be in a prime location in the town centre which will hopefully bring significant income into the town.

“Since the opening of the new South Essex College in Southend a number of high street stores and coffee shops have either opened or grown in size and we hope that will be the case when the Thurrock campus opens next year.”

Mr McGarel said he has already spoken with one major coffee shop chain about a potential move into the town centre, although he wouldn’t confirm which one.

He also revealed at the event last Wednesday how the college was inquiring with C2C as to whether studnts could get discount.

The £45million college, which is moving from Woodview to New Road, will also have areas open to the public - with Visage hair salon, a beauty academy, including spa, and Waves restaurant all publicly available.

Gill Baynes said her daughter Victoria wanted to study at the college as it was the only one that offered her course - Stage and Theatre Make-Up and Prosthetics.

Mrs Baynes, 47, of Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, said: “The new college looks great and it will be so handy for commuters - as Victoria would use the train. To be minutes from the trainline could influence a lot of potential students.”

Thurrock Mayor Tony Fish said the project will bring young people into the area and regenerate the town centre.

He added: “This is something aspirational for youngsters that can provide the facilities to give our next generation of young people a much needed boost.

“It will provide local links, boost the local economy and could lead to an improved night-time economy which would be welcome.”



January 2013 - Project starts

February 2013 - work begins on foundations

July 2013 - roof starts to take shape

August 2013 - cladding of the outside of the building begins

October 2013 - ‘topping out’ ceremony marks structure completion and electrics and water fit-out begins

February 2014 - roof works and cladding complete

July 2014 - building is handed over to the college

August 2014 - staff move from Woodview to the new campus

September 2014 - campus opens to students