Purfleet has officially become Purfleet-on-Thames and a new roadside sign has been unveiled.

Residents campaigned for the change for a number of years and in January Thurrock Council voted for it to be the first step in major regeneration plans that will create new schools, homes and films studios.

On Saturday July, 4, Purfleet and West Thurrock Labour Councillor, Victoria Holloway, joined local residents in a social distanced ceremony to unveil a new Purfleet-on-Thames sign.

At the event, Ms Holloway said:“I am proud to now call the ward I represent Purfleet-on-Thames.

“This name change signifies the importance of this place and where it sits on the river and in Thurrock.

“It demonstrates that the Thames is a significant part of Purfleet’s history and also its future.

“Regeneration plans moving forward are placing the river front as a key part of its plans.

“None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for the dedication and persistence of the Purfleet Community Forum.”

The Purfleet Community Forum campaigned for the name change after discovering historical evidence that dated as far back as 1866, which referenced the town as Purfleet-on-Thames.

Trevor Bachelor, vice chair of the local Purfleet Forum, said: “I am delighted to see the name change come to fruition after over 100 years of Purfleet persistence.

“The new name is like an old friend returning for good this time.

“A ray of hope for our future with a nod to the past.

“I am proud to have given the final push to make the name.”

Purfleet is due to undergo a complete transformation under a £1billion regeneration scheme. The focus is on turning the town into a creative hub, with a media-village, which will include a film and TV studios capable of recording live television programs.

The village will take up an area of approximately one-million square feet and be located close to the existing Royal Opera House studios.

In addition to the extra media facilities, there will be thousands of new homes, new education campuses and a new train station.