Why Locate in Colchester?

Colchester is one of the fastest growing districts in the country…

Known for being Britain’s first City and oldest recorded Town, Colchester today is undergoing a £3bn transformation befitting one of the fastest growing districts in the country. Five areas around the City are currently undergoing regeneration or have been designated as Growth Areas. This development will bring new housing and create new jobs; will be the catalyst for new culture and unique leisure experiences and will bring serious opportunities for investment.

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Colchester's Ambition

Extending Ultrafast Broadband: Colchester Borough Council is working with leading broadband provider, County Broadband, on extending Ultra Fast Broadband from its town centre base to the University of Essex to help with its growth plans, particularly in the Knowledge Gateway.

There are hopes that it will also be extended to the emerging new sport and leisure destination to the north of Colchester.

Designing new places and providing a blank canvas for business: Colchester Borough Council and its neighbours Tendring and Braintree District Councils are working together on visionary proposals to bring forward new garden communities across North Essex and to address long term housing, transport, infrastructure, open space, and employment needs.

Increasing business support: There is ongoing development on new ‘grow-on’ space to retain skills and talent to help businesses face the challenges of growth.The BEST Growth Hub helps businesses to identify and realise their potential with free help and advice for growth.

Creating a new leisure destination: £137m is being invested in the north of Colchester for a new leisure destination with: a stadium, new sports centre, cycling race track, BMX course, David Lloyd Club and an IMAX cinema.  In town the Mercury Theatre has an £8.8m plan to transform its site, improve the audience experience and production facilities and create a learning and participation centre.

Improving transportation links: Transport links to Colchester are being improved to boast economic potential and to enhance access into and out of the capital. Better transport links will also make it easier to access Crossrail from Shenfield:

  • A120 Haven Gateway – Stansted – Harwich
  • A12 Brentwood – Chelmsford – Colchester
  • Great Eastern Mainline rail improvements

A Strategic Location

Colchester is a strategic location for business within the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and also benefits from being in the East of England Region. It is increasingly recognised by policymakers and researchers as a high growth innovation hotspot with immense growth potential.

Essex County Council is a core partner of the South East LEP and its Economic Plan for Essex includes Colchester in the Haven Gateway A120 Growth Corridor. Key investment opportunities have been identified along with transport infrastructure improvements which are aspired to be unlocked by 2021.


New homes in Colchester, Tendring & Braintree by 2033


New Jobs


Million (£) of investment, which could lever a further £90.5M private sector investment in the area.

In September 2015 Colchester Borough Council adopted a new Economic Growth Strategy 2015-21. This document and the evidence base on which it was informed aims to help business leaders and their associates consider Colchester as a place for business. It also assists local companies and organisations with their plans for a more prosperous future.


Making it Happen

Colchester Borough Council works well in partnership with both the public and the private sector to make the most of Colchester’s potential.  Here are some of our key partners and sector partners:

A Proven Track Record

Universities are invaluable to the UK’s future economic growth. They are core places of productivity, investment in research and development. They play a big part in helping innovative and creative minds develop and go on to make businesses prosper.

The University of Essex is delivering on its growth plans which is raising its economic impact significantly, the details of which are highlighted in the  University of Essex Economic Impact Report 2015/16.

Colchester Borough Council is a proactive and forward thinking organisation, welcoming partnership and open to discussion on a variety of areas. Interventions, often with key partners, are delivering innovative solutions to:


  • more high class office space with the Amphora Place development in Sheepen Road in 2017, with phase II to follow.
  • forward funding of a new road from J28 on the A12/Colchester Northern Gateway to the town centre which will be repaid to Essex County Council once the development is completed.
  • hosting the rapid growth projections for this area in one of the most ambitious projects in the UK to deliver Garden Communities which are currently in development.

World-class connectivity is essential if Colchester is to realise its ambition of providing high-quality jobs for its growing population and will act as a vital building block for future investment and regeneration. 

Ultrafast Broadband makes trading in Colchester’s town centre faster than 99% of the UK and 89% of the EU, providing some of the fastest upload and download speeds in the UK.

Locations for…


Colchester is undergoing a £3bn transformation, making it a location with ambitious growth plans.

...Lower Costs

From office rent to energy and water, Colchester boasts competitive prices compared to main cities in the region.

...Educational Excellence

Colchester has a powerful workforce and top-ranking educational facilities.

...New Homes

Colchester’s build rate reflects the Council’s willingness to work with developers to bring well-integrated communities forward

A Great Place

to Live

Some of the most important events in British history have taken place here. 

Today, Colchester mixes pride in its impressive heritage with a great choice of modern attractions, shops, restaurants, cafés and bars. Close to the coast and nationally important landscapes Colchester is a great place to live.

Providing excellent standards of living and education, affordable housing and a great range of places to visit and things to do in and outside of the working environment, Colchester is a great base for people to invest their lives.


22 Conservation Areas

 1555 Listed Buildings

The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

More than 50 places to visit including world-famous Colchester Zoo, Wilkin’s ‘Tiptree’ Visitor Centre and the 27 arch Chappel Viaduct.

52 Scheduled Ancient Monuments

4 Parks in the National Register of Gardens of Special Historic Interest

Mersea Island, home of the Colchester Native oyster

A full diary of events taking place all year round

What our investors say

“We’re backing Colchester by developing the Knowledge Gateway, our science and technology park that’s home to a growing cluster of SMEs – and we’re providing excellent support to businesses across the region.”

Bryn Morris | Registrar, University of Essex

“When it comes to creativity, Colchester punches far above its weight. There’s huge excitement around the creative industries, with civic and commercial partnerships unlocking the potential of people and companies with great ideas.”

Steve Mannix | Executive Director, Mercury Theatre

Colchester – Ultra Ready