A NEW ambitious group has formed to change the face of Grays town centre.

The Grays Town Centre Partnership, comprising around 10 independent shop owners, chain store managers, the shopping centre and town police officers and council officers will work to make the town centre a more attractive destination.

Mark Blanks, manager of Boots and newly appointed chairman of the partnership, said: “We want to brighten up the town and do things that make the place a little bit more attractive.

“Grays has lots of potential both to fulfill and unlock.

“We’re hoping that as time goes on, there will be more and more people getting involved in the committee.”

The committee will work alongside Thurrock Council, as it steams ahead with ambitious regeneration projects centred around the station, but will look at making more subtle changes such as hanging baskets, providing more seating or putting on events.

An events committee will be set up as part of the partnership, which was originally started in 2012 but in recent weeks has become more focussed.

Last Wednesday lunchtime it organised, Moshi Monster characters Poppet and Katsuma to come to town.

They had their pictures taken with youngsters who were on their Easter holiday.

South Essex College representatives were also there promoting the new £45million college campus on New Road which opens later this year, forming the focal point for the key regeneration projects planned for the town.

Mr Blanks said: “There has already been some great success in Grays.

“The police town team for one.

“It was identified that that was needed and now problems we used to have, such as with drunk people hanging around in the town, hardly ever occurs now.

He added: “Events like this one celebrate the uniqueness of Grays. We’ve got this great public space, why not use it? Plus, it’s a great thing for children and parents. We’ve had about 1,000 people come through today.”