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Creative Business Centre

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Work is progressing at speed to convert the old police station (37, Queen's Street) into a state-of-the-art creative and digital business centre. More than 100 tonnes of building waste has been removed from the building since November 2015, with initial phases centred on removing artificial walls and ceilings, correcting structural deficiencies, and preserving unique architectural and decorative elements of historical value. The Clacton-based construction firm, Phelan Construction Ltd., is realising plans developed by Ash Sakula architects. 

The Creative Business Centre is a key infrastructure project to provide workspace, networking and showcasing facilities for the creative and digital industries, as envisaged in the Master Plan for the St Botolph's Quarter. The facility will be a key driver of the regeneration of the upper part of Queen's Street, in addition to the forthcoming Curzon cinema and the redevelopment of the area occupied by the former bus station.

The creative industries are a significant economic sector in Colchester, representing 18% of businesses in the town, or some 5,600 jobs. Colchester has the largest creative economy in Essex and the Haven Gateway sub-region. The sector spans advertising, architecture, art, antiques, computer games, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film, music, museums, theatre, publishing, software, television & radio. In Colchester, it is typified by micro businesses (very small SMEs) and sole traders. The research and consultation that went into the Creative Colchester strategy suggests that a geographic  hub or cluster will benefit the development and growth of this sector in Colchester, bolstering employment opportunities and wider economic growth. The sector has already expressed significant interest in 37, Queen's Street, and "show studio" working spaces will be ready for potential tenants to inspect in April 2016.   

The Creative Business Centre will facilitate flexible working alongside spaces for meetings, networking, business incubation and showcases - with approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of lettable space. There will be a restaurant and café on the ground floor. Importantly for digital and software businesses, the Creative Business Centre will have state-of-the-art connectivity, provided as a benefit of the Council's on-going project to deploy ultra-fast fibre optic infrastructure to the town centre.

Enquiries about the Creative Business Centre can be sent to regeneration@colchester.gov.uk