£150k pledged to do up shops gutted in blaze

First published in Echo News

THE fire-ravaged Triangle Shops look set to rise from the ashes after Basildon Council set aside £150,000 in its latest budget.

Five businesses went up in flames after a huge blaze broke out in the roof of Chinese takeaway Hong Kong House because of an electrical fault in an extractor fan.

McColl’s, the Elizabeth Louise Hair and Beauty Salon, the Chip Shop and a computer company that rented out a unit at the centre have now been given hope the centre will come back bigger than before.

While insurance money will cover the basic costs of rebuilding the centre, Basildon Council hopes that ploughing an additional £150,000 into the scheme will give it an opportunity to redesign the layout and provide additional facilities.

Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, said: “What the residents have been saying is they would like to see an improvement of the facilities at the site, which will take a little longer than a straight replacement. But if you can create something that will give a better shopping experience, then we can’t refuse the opportunity.”

A target date has not yet been set for the completion of the project.

Stephen Hillier, Tory councillor for Langdon Hills, said: “The money that has been held is to get something better than what we had before.

“The insurance would simply rebuild the centre as before, but that isn’t good enough anymore so putting some money up is certainly worth it.”

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