Nub News told Thameside closure decision has been made

By Nub News Reporter

17th Jan 2023 | Local News

INFORMED sources within Thurrock Council have leaked news to Thurrock Nub News that the Thameside Complex in Grays is to be closed down in the near future - its fate sealed by the bankrupt council's debt.

It is understood that a closure plan was sanctioned at a meeting this afternoon (Tuesday, 17 January) involving the council's director of Place, Mark Bradbury, other officers and representatives of the commissioners brought in by the government to run the finances of the effectively bankrupt council.

The authority owes hundreds of millions of pounds because of the flawed 'borrow to invest' policy of the Conservative administration.

Nub News broke news of the council's original plan to close the complex and move its arts and performance offerings around community venues, with the downsizing or closure of the museum and library in the complex.

That news sparked a 'save the Thameside' campaign and it looked as if a new community interest company would take over the building and run the facilities there.

The upsurge in interest in the theatre, museum and library was mirrored by the recent record-breaking run of the pantomime Beauty and the Beast.

It was understood a deal was close but then things were delayed by the intervention of a second bidder, the Barking-based Waltham International College.

Questions were raised at the time because of the close association of the recently-appointed portfolio holder for communities, Cllr Qaisar Abbas with the college.

And it seems the delay caused by that intervention has brought about closure of a window of opportunity to save the Thameside.

There has ben a lot of adverse comment and speculation on social media about the college interest and Cllr Abbas's role. The council, Cllr Abbas and Mr Bradbury were recently lambasted by Grays born international star, actor and comedian Russell Brand when he hosted a community action day at the complex.

It may be that the college intervention proves to be the final nail in the complex coffin!

Nub News understands a paper and report is now being drawn up recommending closure and it will go first to next month's (2 February) Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Thurrock Council has been asked to comment.


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