Exciting works to rejuvenate Grays Beach Riverside Park are well under way thanks to a significant contribution from the Grays Town Fund Board – part of the ongoing multi-million pound transformation of Grays, following investment from the government and Thurrock Council.

Under the government’s £3.6billion Towns Fund, an accelerated cash injection of £750,000 was provided by the board last November and divided between multiple projects in Grays. This funding was offered alongside investment from the council to help transform the area.

Works to boost Grays Beach Riverside Park and improve accessibility to the play area include:

  • a new ship and castle replacing the old iconic galleon play equipment
  • new Parkour outdoor sports, health and fitness area
  • surfacing and path works
  • a Splashpad area – funded by Thurrock Council

The Splashpad, which will be run by the Lightship Café community group, is due to open during the summer when families can make the most of the warm weather.

Chair of Grays Towns Fund Board and Director of Development at NewRiver REIT, Justin Thomas, said: “The funding provided has enabled the board to kick-start many projects in Grays, developing regeneration opportunities and ensuring that Grays continues to meet the needs of its community. This is only the start of the significant investment plans in the pipeline for Grays.”

The new ship and castle play equipment offers plenty of slides and play panels, hideaways, hangouts and 6 swing seats. A section of the sand area has been removed to make sure the equipment is accessible throughout the year – regardless of weather – to children with disabilities, including wheelchair users.

Cllr Aaron Watkins, Cabinet member for environment and sports and leisure, said: “This significant investment will help transform Grays Beach Riverside Park and enhance it further. The Grays Town Fund Board, as part of the government’s new Towns Fund, has provided funding to enable this project alongside our own investment. This is a small step as part of wider regeneration that will transform towns such as Grays.

“The team is hard at work getting the new equipment ready, hopefully for residents to enjoy after the Easter holidays. Thank you to the Grays Town Fund Board and local volunteers for their work.”

Other projects funded by Grays Towns Fund Board include:

  • installation of a wayfinding scheme that will include information boards and fingerposts providing walking and cycling directions
  • new digital display screens in the train and bus station area

To find out more about the proposed plans, go to the Grays Towns Fund Board website – where you can also provide feedback to help shape further plans – at: graystownsfund.co.uk

The board has submitted a town investment plan application to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for further investment in Grays. The MHCLG should announce if Grays has been invited to progress to the next stage by summer 2021.

The photo below is an aerial view of the works underway at Grays Beach Riverside Park.