Basildon District Council is to seek a development partner for the regeneration of Basildon town centre from today.

In an announcement made this morning, the council said it had posted a notice on the an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), stating its desire for a development partner for £1bn of development.

The development framework for the city centre was approved in June 2006. All interested developers must submit a pre-qualification questionnaire by Monday 6 August.

Ian Butt, interim project director for Basildon Town Centre, said : ‘Following the pre- qualification questionnaire stage, it is anticipated that between five and seven bidders will be short-listed for the competitive dialogue stage.

‘During this stage a period of dialogue will take place with each of the bidders, addressing the same topics. After this, those still wishing to compete for the contract will be invited to tender, which is due to happen before the end of 2007. We expect to have a partner signed up to a conditional development agreement by May 2008.’