Work to begin on Magistrates' Court transformation

Work to begin on Magistrates' Court transformation

Work to begin on Magistrates' Court transformation

First published in News Thurrock Gazette: Matt Abbott by , Chief Reporter

WORK to transform the former Grays Magistrates' Court building into a business centre - creating 200 jobs - will begin later this month.

Beardwell Construction, based in the town, has been selected by Thurrock Council to carry out refurbishment work to the iconic building at the northern end of the High Street and work begins this month.

It involves a 40-week programme that should ensure the new business centre - The Old Courthouse - will be operational in the spring of next year.

Beardwell will remodel the internal layout of the building to produce 39 small business units – each with modern IT and telephone facilities.

The work also includes an extension to the Registrar’s House, providing additional business units and the addition of mezzanine floor above both former courtrooms creates additional office space. The remodelled building will also include everything a modern business needs – high-quality accommodation, meeting rooms, and other facilities as well as external landscaping.

Thurrock Council leader, John Kent, welcomed Duncan Clark, Beardwell’s managing director and chairman Paul Beardwell to the site on Monday.

He said: “Once completed this refurbishment will bring another 200 jobs to the town centre which, combined with the new college at the southern end of the High Street, should mean we start to see a new and exciting Grays town centre as hundreds of people come here to work and study.”

The aim of the refurbishment is to transform the building internally while retaining its iconic external façade.

The new centre will be operated by NWES (Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services Ltd) a not for profit organisation which also runs the former Post Office site in nearby George Street.

Any organisation seeking access to funding and business premises should contact NWES Services 0845 4374465 or drop into Thurrock Centre for Business.

Comments (6)

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12:08pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Bernard 87 says...

This is such poor use of this building right in the centre of Grays and shows the complete lack of vision by the council.

When Whetherspoons enquired about using the site for a pub they had an opportunity to kick start some sort of night-time economy in Grays and they turnt this down. A new pub here could have had the potential to attract other businesses such as Pizza Hut, Costa and Nandos as well as better quality shops and a few bars which would have increased footfall in the Town Centre.

A business centre could have been run from a less prominant site, could have been worked into the new college on the other side of the tracks with more office space developed on that side if needed. This would have created two distinct areas, one for shopping and one for work/study.

You can see why Thurrock is how it is when you have chronically clueless people in charge stopping positive regeneration.

I can't wait to see what the 200 jobs are and who fills this space.
This is such poor use of this building right in the centre of Grays and shows the complete lack of vision by the council. When Whetherspoons enquired about using the site for a pub they had an opportunity to kick start some sort of night-time economy in Grays and they turnt this down. A new pub here could have had the potential to attract other businesses such as Pizza Hut, Costa and Nandos as well as better quality shops and a few bars which would have increased footfall in the Town Centre. A business centre could have been run from a less prominant site, could have been worked into the new college on the other side of the tracks with more office space developed on that side if needed. This would have created two distinct areas, one for shopping and one for work/study. You can see why Thurrock is how it is when you have chronically clueless people in charge stopping positive regeneration. I can't wait to see what the 200 jobs are and who fills this space. Bernard 87
  • Score: 19

12:50pm Tue 12 Aug 14

G.Fawkes says...

Is there enough car parking in the town center for all these builders/office workers? I seem to remember the police station having the open space at the back.
Is there enough car parking in the town center for all these builders/office workers? I seem to remember the police station having the open space at the back. G.Fawkes
  • Score: 5

1:09pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Make Thurrock Better says...

I totally agree Bernard and in all honesty I cannot see this place filling with small businesses. No double they will internally chop it into units and many of them will lie empty year around. Just wait for that to happen. Are businesses really breaking the door down to get office space in GRAYS?? Are they sure about this???
I totally agree Bernard and in all honesty I cannot see this place filling with small businesses. No double they will internally chop it into units and many of them will lie empty year around. Just wait for that to happen. Are businesses really breaking the door down to get office space in GRAYS?? Are they sure about this??? Make Thurrock Better
  • Score: 11

4:16pm Tue 12 Aug 14

mikgrays says...

Grays doesn't deserve decent facilities,
Grays doesn't deserve decent facilities, mikgrays
  • Score: -7

5:05pm Tue 12 Aug 14

KBAD72 says...

This is a classic example of pie in the sky Thurrock Labour Party thinking (like all these regeneration schemes that never come to fruition but give council officers nice salaries of £30 to£50k for achieving zilch. I will be amazed if there are really 200 jobs and can't see any long term future for this centre. I totally agree with earlier comments that should have been turned into a pub. This would have helped regenerate this part of Grays and potentially made it less of a no go zone after dark. Also why has this project taken so long to get off the ground? This building has been derelict for some time now (must be a couple of years) and Cllr Kent has been crowing about this amazing project ever since it was announced but it won't be ready until Spring 2015. Impressive turnaround !
This is a classic example of pie in the sky Thurrock Labour Party thinking (like all these regeneration schemes that never come to fruition but give council officers nice salaries of £30 to£50k for achieving zilch. I will be amazed if there are really 200 jobs and can't see any long term future for this centre. I totally agree with earlier comments that should have been turned into a pub. This would have helped regenerate this part of Grays and potentially made it less of a no go zone after dark. Also why has this project taken so long to get off the ground? This building has been derelict for some time now (must be a couple of years) and Cllr Kent has been crowing about this amazing project ever since it was announced but it won't be ready until Spring 2015. Impressive turnaround ! KBAD72
  • Score: 4

12:38am Sat 16 Aug 14

clou81 says...

Isn't that what the units in the Queensgate centre were meant to be for???? What a joke!!! They could've encouraged the developers of the old dominoes club to put in a planning application based on turning it into office units.....how many applications has that had turned down so far?BERNARD 87 this would've tied it in nicely to the new college also.
Isn't that what the units in the Queensgate centre were meant to be for???? What a joke!!! They could've encouraged the developers of the old dominoes club to put in a planning application based on turning it into office units.....how many applications has that had turned down so far?BERNARD 87 this would've tied it in nicely to the new college also. clou81
  • Score: 0

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