A former American Diner and vacant pub has been bought for £2.75 million by Basildon Council.

The council has announced the purchase of Robins House, which features a vacant pub, the former home of an American diner, the former Robins cinema, the Drop Zone trampoline park, and a store which is currently used by the British Heart Foundation.

Robins House, on North Gunnels, also features a 10 storey office block, and the purchase comes as part of Gavin Callaghan's town centre plan for Basildon.

The news follows the council’s purchase of the Market Pavement block and part of South Walk including the former Rileys snooker club for £5million.

Mr Callaghan, the leader of Basildon Council, added: "These are challenging times for everyone but it is vitally important that at the end of this we have not lost ground in our goal of reimagining Basildon town centre.

"Now more than ever we need to ensure our town centre works for everyone.

"Our officers continue to secure key strategic sites for development as part of this plan.

"This acquisition is yet another signal of intent to private developers that we are committed to regeneration on a scale we haven't seen in Basildon since its creation.”