THROWING a huge community party each year and improving youth facilities are among some things residents want to spend £1million of lottery money on.

More than 50 residents from Pitsea turned out to the first in a host of consultation days at Chalvedon Community Centre and Social Club yesterday to have their say on how the money is spent.

The Chalvedon area, which includes Wickford Avenue, Ashlyns, Pitsea Road and surrounding streets is to be given the money from the Big Lottery Fund to spend in the community.

Sue Houghton, 43, of Chestnuts, Pitsea, a community representative working on the scheme, said she was very pleased with the turnout.

She said: “This money will help us turn round the estate. It is to be spent on a mix of age groups and not just one specific one.

“The residents have come up with some great ideas and because we are still in the very early stages we are open to all suggestions.”

The project, dubbed the Heart of Pitsea, saw the community centre buzzing with residents, children having their faces painted and local PCSOs chatting to residents.

Residents were asked to write down ideas on sticky notes, with more youth facilities, a skate park and improving community pride all being featured as possible ways to spend the cash.

The project is being headed by Basildon Council and the Basildon, Billericay and Wickford Council of Voluntary Service, which will be given the cash to distribute.

Terri Sargent, Basildon councillor with responsibility for community services, said a big sporting project taking in the Olympic legacy idea could kick things off.

She said: “I would love to see a huge community project launch this and make the most of what we have. With the Olympics on our doorstep, we could make the most of the legacy and really get people inspired.”

The cash will be released over a ten-year period.