AN ambitious £2million project to improve a coastal community has moved one step closer to becoming a reality after a talented design team was appointed.

In November last year Jaywick Sands received £1.97million from the Government’s Getting Building Fund to create a commercial facility and covered market.

The Tendring Council-owned site, located at the gateway to Brooklands, will also become home to 13 affordable business units and a community garden.

The 9,500sq ft market, formerly home to the Sunspot arcade, will include a hard landscaped area, which will also accommodate an outdoor market.

The initiative, led by Tendring District Council, will be topped up by £105k from the authority and £50k from Essex County Council.

Some of that cash will go in the pockets of the Colchester-based HAT Project, a design firm which has been tasked with bringing the vision to life.

The award-winning architects have a wealth of experience with such schemes and has previously worked with Tendring Council on other Jaywick Sands initiatives.

Paul Honeywood, Tendring councillor responsible for Jaywick Sands, said he was excited to see the project moving positively forward.

“The site is such a key location to the Brooklands and Grasslands area of Jaywick Sands, acting as a gateway to those communities, so it is important that the project is a real landmark,” he said.

“This scheme will see units built which will support small businesses and start-ups in the area and bring jobs and employment to the community.

“Facing the fantastic sandy beach, we think there is a great potential to encourage more visitor trade through new businesses and the market.

“I am pleased to welcome HAT Projects onboard, knowing their experience and previous work in Jaywick Sands in particular, will really benefit this scheme and drive it forward.”

Survey work will soon begin on the site designated for the market project, including trial excavations and utilities scans, ahead of a planning application being made.

Hana Loftus, director at HAT Projects, added: “Jaywick Sands is such a brilliant place to work in due to the energy in the community and the desire to work together to improve things.

“We are excited to be involved in this project to deliver something which will be a real benefit to local residents.”