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 Borough 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 exciting opportunities for investment.
Steve Mannix, Executive Director, Mercury Theatre.
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.
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.
Colchester: A Proven Track Record of Delivery
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. Click Here.
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 is currently in development.
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:
- South East Local Economic Partnership (SE LEP)
- Essex County Council
- Invest Essex
- Haven Gateway Partnership
- University of Essex
- Creative & Digital – Creative Colchester
- Healthcare & Assisted Living [needs contacts and organisational links]
- Tourism – Visit Essex
- Energy & Environmental Industries [needs contacts and organisational links]
- Financial & Business Services – Invest Essex
- Retail – Colchester Retail & Business Association (CoRBA)
- Construction [needs contacts and organisational links]
- Advanced Manufacture [needs contacts and organisational links]
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:
- A120 Haven Gateway – Stansted – Harwich
- A12 Brentwood – Chelmsford – Colchester
- Great Eastern Mainline rail improvements