The leader of Basildon Council has announced its latest town centre property purchase.
The council has bought the Market Pavement block and part of South Walk including the former Rileys snooker club for £5million.
Councillor Gavin Callaghan has welcomed the opportunity to take control of another key part of the town centre which will play a crucial role in the emerging Basildon town centre masterplan.
He said: “This is yet another signal of intent to private developers in what is an incredibly exciting time for Basildon town centre.
“We are committed to regeneration on a scale we haven’t seen in Basildon since its creation. We know that Basildon can be better and we are taking proactive steps to help get the ball rolling on regeneration to totally reimagine the town centre.
“I’ve never been more confident than I am now that Basildon town centre is changing for the best with new homes, retail and leisure.
Late last year the council successfully acquired the company that owns Acorn House in Basildon town centre. The company already has permission and contracts in place to convert the building into 94 apartments – mainly of one bedroom, with some two-bedrooms.